Big four accountants accused of feasting on Carillion

Aaron Morby 7 months ago
Share

Britain’s big four accountancy firms have been accused by MPs of  ‘feasting on the carcass’ of collapsed Carillion, collecting more than £70m in fees in over a decade.

A joint inquiry by two select committees has published a breakdown of fees collected by KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and EY.

This reveals the big four billed the company, pension schemes and the Government nearly £72m since 2008 relating to Carillion.

Field Field, chairman of the work and pensions committee, said: “The image of these companies feasting on what was soon to become a carcass will not be lost on decent citizens.

“We saw at the end of our evidence session that the former directors of Carillion are, unlike their pensioners, suppliers and employees, alright.

“These figures show that, as ever, the Big Four are alright too. All of them did extensive – and expensive – work for Carillion.”

PwC, now handling the liquidation process, came in for particular criticism.

He added: “PWC managed to play all three sides – the company, pension schemes and the Government – to the tune of £21m and are now being paid to preside over the carcass of the company as Special Managers.

“It was perhaps telling that, with their three fellow oligarchs conflicted, PWC were appointed to this lucrative position without any competition.”

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said watchdog MPs would to day question KPMG about its role in auditing Carillion’s accounts before the group’s collpase with over £1.3bn of debt.

Reeve said: “KPMG has serious questions to answer about the collapse of Carillion.

“Either KPMG failed to spot the warning signs, or its judgement was clouded by its cosy relationship with the company and the multi-million pound fees it received.

“For the sake of all those who lost their jobs at Carillion and in the interests of better corporate governance, KPMG should, as a bare minimum, review its processes and explain what went wrong.”

KPMG, who will be questioned in Parliament on 22 February, have audited Carillion’s accounts every year since the company’s inception in 1999, receiving £29.4m in fees in the process.

In documents submitted to the joint committee, KPMG  does not accept any suggestion of blame but said it conducted its work “appropriately and responsibly”.

PwC said: “It’s appropriate that the Joint Committee consider all aspects of the collapse of Carillion and we will continue to cooperate fully with their enquiries.

“The Joint Committee’s request for information dates back to 2008 and the majority of the work that PwC undertook directly for Carillion was carried out prior to June 2015 rather than in the last few months before its collapse.

“Our technical skills and ability to deal with complex business problems led to our appointments to work for the Government and the Pension trustees.

“While there are only four large professional services firms, the market has been subject to extensive review by the Competition Commission (now succeeded by the Competition & Markets Authority) and European Commission. We comply with all rules that have resulted from these extensive reviews.”

Latest news

Ardmore lands £50m Greenwich Design District deal

Sixteen new buildings from eight different design practices to be constructed next to O2
5 hours ago

McLaren MD joins Balfour as southern chief

Dave Smith to head southern construction business
8 hours ago

£128m London Gallions Reach phase 2 approved

Galliford Try gets nod for trio of housing blocks
7 hours ago

Ringway lands £245m Gloucestershire highways deal

Contractor wins pothole repair race from Skanska and Alun Griffiths
8 hours ago

Willmott homes arm fined £1.25m over flue gas exposure

Court hears how residents were put at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
3 days ago

Plan for £250m urban village on Newcastle Quayside

Enabling works for Quayside West could be started by next spring
14 hours ago

Kier gets start date for delayed £50m Sheffield Uni hub

Work to start on new social sciences building after 12-month delay
14 hours ago

£100m Aberdeen Broadford Works village plan approved

Demolition work to start at historic former textile factory site
3 days ago

Willam Hare struggles to restore steelwork margins

Sales up 10% to £158m but operating margin around 1%
14 hours ago

Liverpool wants contractors for £280m highways deal

Council looking to appoint 12 firms to framework after terminating deal with Amey
14 hours ago

Eggborough gas-fired power station gains consent

Work could start by summer next year at North Yorkshire site
3 days ago

Go-ahead for £160m Leeds Monk Bridge scheme

McAlpine is on board as preferred contractor for the project
4 days ago

Opinion: Safety fines are getting out of control

We need more effective ways to improve safety than ever higher penalties
4 days ago

Shake-up for £2.9bn MoD hard FM contracts

Post-Carillion bid race for MoD estate and housing regional FM contracts
4 days ago

Wates set to start on £53m Portsmouth sports centre

Contractor understood to have won contract race for new university complex
5 days ago

Lack of skilled roofers prompts Marley new launch

Easy to install roofing roll compensates for lack of skilled workers
4 days ago

Caddick takes workforce plastic-free

Workers given aluminium drinks bottles in bid to bin single-use plastics
4 days ago

Wates wins 7th Leeds Wellington Place job

Work will start of £35m 4 Wellington Place project next month
4 days ago

Kier targets £50m disposals to cut £375m debt

Firm sets out debt reduction plan in robust year-end results
5 days ago

Betting Spy: Spurs to shrug off recent troubles

Tottenham can kick-start a win treble with Leicester and Crystal Palace
4 days ago

Keltbray concrete structures boss exits

Keltbray Structures MD Gordon Dunne on gardening leave
5 days ago

141 jobs axed as M&E specialist George Birchall fails

Larger FM business George Birchall Service avoids administration
5 days ago

Morgan Sindall bags £384m London scheme first phase

Hackney scheme includes an academy, leisure centre and six blocks of flats
5 days ago

Mace confirms £180m Olympic Park East Village deal

Firm will fine-tune its 'rising factory' method on the No6 East Village project
5 days ago

Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

BIM and Microsoft HoloLens used to check M&E work
5 days ago

PM pledges extra £2bn for housing associations over 10 years

Longterm funding will be made available from 2022-2029
5 days ago

Jacobs to lead Edinburgh city centre transformation plan

Team will set out plan for historic overhaul of streets and public space
5 days ago

Costain and Galliford Try fined £2.8m after worker loses toes

Massive fine after accident at Cheshire water treatment works
6 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
5 months ago

Van Elle shareholders stage AGM revolt

Shareholders block board's ability to issue new shares for acquisitions
6 days ago

Contractor services