Three years after the downfall of Ireland’s largest stockbroking firm, the Chartered Accountant Regulatory Board (Carb), the country’s watchdog for accountancy firms including Deloitte has failed to launch a formal investigation after a €5.3 million hole was discovered in a probe by the Central Bank, according to a report by The Irish Times.
It seems that the millions that went unaccounted for stretched back to 2007, however the firm’s auditor at the time, Deloitte approved and signed off on annual accounts prior to its collapse.
When The Irish Times contacted Carb, the regulator said it was waiting for the Central Bank to complete the investigation to avoid “duplication of processes.” The Central Bank says that the bank’s probe, which remains open, won’t hinder potential investigations into the liquidated stockbroking firm’s auditing practices by Carb.
Earlier this year, the Central Bank disqualified Tadhg Gunnell, the company’s former head of finance and compliance from managing a financial firm for 10 years and was fined €105,000 by the Central Bank—the ban on Gunnell’s role shows the seriousness of his actions and is the longest ever imposed on an individual/executive by Ireland’s financial watchdog.
“Gunnell oversaw certain financial irregularities in the firm’s accounts that contributed to its overstated regulatory capital position,” the Central bank said in a statement. "Clear and accurate financial reporting is a key pillar of the regulatory framework. Without it, consumers and investors cannot have confidence in the financial services industry. [This] settlement sends out a clear signal that the Central Bank will use the full range of its powers to ensure consumer and investor confidence."
The Central Bank said that Gunnell failed to ensure that adequate systems and the reporting of regulatory capital were in place.