Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Presbyterian Mutual auditing investigated

An investigation has been launched into the auditing of the collapsed Presbyterian Mutual Society Limited.

The probe by the disciplinary body for the UK accountancy profession will examine the conduct of Northern Ireland chartered accountants Moore Stephens.

In a statement, Moore Stephens said the inquiry “would be considered routine” and was examining a “narrow issue”.

The firm acted as auditors to the society which collapsed last year, tying up millions of pounds of savers’ money. The society was put into administration and calls for a Treasury rescue package have so far failed to bear fruit.

Announcing its inquiry, the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) said it would include the conduct of Moore Stephens as auditors and of individual members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

The board also said the investigation would be in connection with events leading up to the society being put in administration.

Its remit is to review conduct “in relation to the alleged failure by Presbyterian Mutual Society Limited to obtain the appropriate regulatory authorisation for the conduct of its business during the period from 2000 to 2008”, it said. In its statement, Moore Stephens said: “Moore Stephens in Northern Ireland welcomes the AADB inquiry into the narrow issue of the regulation of the Presbyterian Mutual Society Limited.

“The inquiry, which would be considered routine in such cases, will benefit from the full co-operation and support of the firm.

“We would point out that the members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland referred to in the AADB press release are not the partners or employees of Moore Stephens in Northern Ireland.”

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