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June 4, 2015

PwC UK loses third major audit client in a month

By Loukia Gyftopoulou

PwC UK has received yet another blow as department store chain John Lewis announced the firm will be replaced by Big Four competitor KPMG UK.

This is the fourth major client PwC has lost since the beginning of the year and the third in the period of a month, after Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Royal Dutch Shell all switched to other Big Four auditors.

John Lewis, which also owns Waitrose food stores, attributes the change of auditors to a newly adopted policy stating the retailer is to put its audit out to tender every five years.

In May 2015 PwC saw its relationship with Royal Dutch Shell end after the FTSE 100-listed oil and gas company proposed EY as its new auditor, the International Accounting Bulleting reported.

This came a few days after Tesco ended its 23-year audit relationship with the firm and switched to Deloitte following a £263m accounting scandal that hit the UK supermarket last year.

Chair of John Lewis’s audit and risk committee Baroness Hogg said: "We thank PricewaterhouseCoopers for their strong contribution as the partnership’s auditors over many years and for this coming year.

"We look forward to working with KPMG or the 2016/17 financial year."

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