Big Four evidence to Lords inquiry
The Big Four's UK senior partners emerged with only a few minor bruises from their encounter this afternoon with the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.
Their lordships summoned the partners to Westminster to give evidence in their inquiry into concentration in the audit market. What followed was less of a parliamentary grilling than 1hr 40mins of gentle questioning in what looked like a heavily negotiated engagement. The most forceful questions came from former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson who wrung some "astonishing" responses from the four partners. For a quick overview, you can follow the live thread here, or read on for more details of the enquiry.
The interrogation is part of their Lordships’ ongoing inquiry into market concentration with the audit market. Facing the panel will be:
- Scott Halliday, managing partner, Ernst and Young,
- Ian Powell, chairman and senior partner, PwC.
- John Connolly, senior partner and chief executive, Deloitte
- John Griffith-Jones, chairman, KPMG.
According to a preview note circulated by the committee, the witnesses will be asked questions ranging from the Big Four’s dominance to the role bank auditors played in the financial crisis, and the amounts Big Four firms earn from audit and other tax and consultancy work.
The session took place at 3:35pm in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords and is available for streaming via Parliament TV.