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U.K. narrow-minded to think breaking up Big Four a good idea

Jim Peterson | March 19, 2019

“None of us has a clue,” said PCAOB Chairman William McDonough when asked by the Financial Times in 2005 what audit regulators would do to prevent a Big Four collapse.

Passionate criticism has escalated dramatically, aimed at the Big Four accounting networks—Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC—who together dominate audits of the world’s large companies. The center is London, where the noise levels turned up with the multibillion pound collapse in January 2018 of giant public works contractor Carillion.

Lengthy proceedings and multiple inquiries by regulators and politicians were launched on fast tracks. A committee charged by Parliament and led by Sir John Kingman reported in December, proposing a thorough re-engineering of the profession’s regulation.

Concerned by Big Four dominance, the Competition & Markets...

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