ABSA parent Barclays Africa Group drops KPMG

Barclays Africa Group announced on Thursday that it would be cutting ties with beleaguered firm KPMG as its joint auditors.

The company, which owns ABSA Bank, said that it told its shareholders that it would withdraw a recommendation for KMPG to be reappointed as its joint auditor for the year 2018.

This comes as the office of Auditor General Kimi Makwetu also cut ties with KPMG in light of its conduct. The resolution to reappoint KPMG was made on May 15, almost a year ago.

“The appointment of KPMG as external auditors of BAGL will cease on completion of the statutory and regulatory audit and reporting matters relating to the 2017 financial year, which is expected to take effect by approximately 31 May 2018,” the bank said in a statement.

Barclays Africa’s board initially proposed that KPMG be re-appointed as one of its external auditors for the 2018 financial year, but that it would “continue to monitor developments” relating to the auditor.

“The Board has carefully evaluated the ongoing and more recent developments and decided that it is no longer able to support the reappointment of KPMG,” the bank said.

READ MORE: Three strikes against KPMG – now what?

KPMG South Africa said in a separate statement that it was disappointed by, but fully accept, the decision.

“We are very proud of the work that we have performed for Barclays Africa Group over many years, and of the diligence and professionalism of the team who served them.”

KPMG South Africa said it had made far-reaching changes over the past seven months to all aspects of the firm including governance, quality, and risk management. Work to further underpin the quality of our services and integrity of our professionals continues, it said.

“We are confident the steps we are taking to change the firm are the right steps to restore trust in KPMG, and we remain resolute in our determination to achieve this goal.”

READ MORE: KPMG, under fire in SA, now faces US shareholder protests

KPMG CEO in SA Nhlamu Dlomu has expressed hopes that the Auditor General’s decision to distance themselves from the firm would be a temporary one. — Fin24

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