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BT shareholders set to revolt against KPMG after trade body slating

The accountant only got the mandate last year after PWC stood down after 33 years
KPMG got the job last year after PWC stood down

BT Group plc (LON:BT.) might have to find its third auditor in two years with reports a group of shareholders are preparing to vote against KPMG at the AGM.

The accountant only got the mandate last year after PWC stood down after 33 years in the wake of the fraud at BT’s Italian operation.

READ: BT Group easier as Deutsche Bank trims target price, says firm stuck between “a pension rock and a fibre hard place”

KPMG though was excoriated this week by the Financial Research Council, the accountancy trade body, over the quality of its audit work at the now bust contractor Carillion and financially challenged insurance group Quindell.

The FRC fined KPMG £3.2mln for Quindell, now called Watchstone, adding there had been an ‘unacceptable’ decline in the quality of the firm’s audits.

KPMG took over as BT’s auditor last June but the appointment has to be ratified by shareholders at the telecoms group’s annual meeting on July 11.

A report in the Times today suggested there might be a protest vote against the appointment of KPMG, which has been put under special supervision by the FRC.

BT has been struggling to recover from the £500mln fraud at its Italian business and chief executive Gavin Patterson is to leave the group later this year.


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