A formal complaint is expected to be filed to
the Irish accounting watchdog against Ernst & Young Ireland
(E&Y) in relation to its role as auditor of Anglo-Irish
The formal complaint follows an extensive
investigation in to the Big Four firm, which remained auditor of
the bank up to 2008, by the Chartered Accountants Regulatory
Board’s (CARB) former auditor general John Purcell.
Purcell told the watchdog his investigation
has found, “prima faciecases against E&Y in respect of
their role as auditors to Anglo Irish Bank”.
Purcell claimed that the preliminarily
investigation found the auditors failed to detect the scale of Sean
FitzPatrick’s loans and their systematic refinancing over year ends
and the lack of appropriate disclosure in the first set of Anglo’s
financial statements for the year-end 30 September 2008.
Purcell also criticised the firm for failing
to refer to the transactions in September 2008 between Irish Life
& Permanent and Anglo-Irish in their audit report on the first
set of Anglo-Irish’s 2008 financial statements and the failure to
ensure appropriate disclosure of “a loan made to William McAteer, a
director of Anglo-Irish, in the first set of its 2008 financial
statements or in their audit report thereon”.
E&Y said in statement it fundamentally
disagrees with opinions issued by Purcell that there is a prima
facie case to answer on three points under investigation.
“This is a preliminary stage of the process
and, for the avoidance of doubt, there has been no adverse finding
made against E&Y in respect of the audit of Anglo Irish bank.
We will vigorously defend our work before a hearing of the CARB’s
disciplinary panel which will consider whether or not any such
criticism is justified,” E&Y said.
E&Y recently tried to challenge the
investigation by Purcell at the High Court but their challenge was
refused by Justice Mary Irvine in May this year.
E&Y fails to challenge Anglo-Irish inquiry