BHS fell into administration at the cost of 11,000 jobs 13 month after after Green’s Arcadia group sold it to businessman Dominic Chappell for £1.
The Financial Reporting Council said it had “launched an investigation under the accountancy scheme into the conduct of PricewaterhouseCoopers in relation to the audit of the financial statements of BHS Ltd for the year ended 30 August 2014.”
Such an investigation can be launched when “the matter raises or appears to raise important issues affecting the public interest in the United Kingdom”.
It also requires that “there are reasonable grounds to suspect that they may have been misconduct or it appears that the member of member firm has failed to comply with any of his or its obligations” under the scheme’s requirements.
The FRC’s decision to investigate intensifies scrutiny on the stewardship of BHS before Green sold it to Chappell, a former racing car driver with no previous retail experience who has been declared bankrupt three times.
PwC was questioned by MPs in a joint session of the business and work and pensions select committees over its description of BHS as a “going concern” days before it was sold.
If the regulator determines that PwC failed to do its job properly, it has the power to impose sanctions and can force the accountancy firm to pay costs.
This article was written by Rob Davies, for theguardian.com on Monday 27th June 2016 10.56 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010