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UK Business Secretary Greg Clark says UK needs to stay ‘centre of audit expertise’

In a letter to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy parliamentary committee dated 27 June 2019, UK Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP said: “I am committed to acting to deliver change where it is needed.” However, he also noted the need ‘to develop a coherent, effective and proportionate package of reforms for the audit sector, which balances the requirement to improve audit quality with the need to maintain the UK’s global status as a centre of audit expertise’.

Clark also noted the ‘crossover and interaction between the CMA’s proposals and the recommendations in the independent review of the FRC by Sir John Kingman. “Both of these reviews will require primary legislation to implement the recommended changes.”

The Business Secretary’s letter came in response to parliamentary committee chair Rachel Reeves MP, who also asked him: “…in relation to the committee’s concerns over the capital maintenance regime you will be seeking advice and options from ICAEW for a potential new distributable reserves’ disclosure requirement.”

Clark replied: “…we have asked the ICAEW£ to provide some technical advice and options for government on ways in which potential new distributable reserves disclosure requirements might be framed. I can confirm that once we receive this input we will seek other stakeholders’ views, including Sir Donald Brydon, on those options. I agree that the ICAEW’s guidance Guidance on Realised and Distributable Profits needs to be clear and concise, which is why we have also asked the ICAEW to consider ways in which that advice might be simplified and clarified.”

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