Belgian auditor BDO has become the latest big accountancy firm to distance itself from Russia and Belarus, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement, the firm said it would cut all existing ties with sanctioned entities, including Russian and Belarusian state-owned companies and sanctioned individuals.
The Belgian auditor noted that its Russian counterpart, Unicon, is not currently a part of its “global network,” after BDO relegated the Russian firm last year, due to a conflict of interest.
However, Unicon will remain a part of BDO’s “global alliance” meaning the Moscow headquartered firm retains certain privileges, including the ability to use BDO’s intellectual property.
In an email to City A.M. the firm added: “All clients and opportunities with Russian links are being referred to BDO Global and we will be reviewing our approach on an individual basis.”
BDO also said it would be removing its Belarussian counterpart, BDO Belarus, from its global network. However, the firm failed to say whether BDO Belarus would still be part of its global alliance.
In a statement, BDO said: “These changes are effective immediately. Implementation may take longer as we need to ensure an orderly transition.”
BDO’s decision comes after all of the Big Four accountancy firms this week cut their links with Russia, by separating out their Russian and Belarusian member firms and pledging not to work for sanctioned individuals.
Last week, Grant Thornton also cut its links to its Russian member firm, FBK.