New watchdog’s chairman urged to resign over auditors’ role in HBOS debacle

Posted 08/04/2013 - 08:59 by anrigaut

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2013-04-07 23

Tony Shearer, the former chief executive of Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander, and Paul Moore, the HBOS whistleblower, have demanded Mr Griffiths-Jones’ head in protest at his role as chairman of accountants KPMG until last year, which as auditor gave the bank a clean bill of health in the run-up to the crisis.

The attack on the chairman of the FCA, which was officially set up only last week, adds another leading City figure to those caught in the HBOS fall-out.

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Mr Griffiths-Jones was head of KPMG when it audited HBOS, Bradford & Bingley, and Singer & Friedlander, all of which were rescued by the taxpayer. KPMG also sided with HBOS in an internal report in 2004 against Mr Moore, whose warnings about the bank’s risk controls have since been vindicated. In a letter to Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the PCBS, Mr Shearer said: “A wise person would have understood that the former chairman of KPMG could not be chairman of the FCA.

So why did Mr Griffiths-Jones accept the role, and why did the Treasury and the Bank of England ever think of asking him? He has to now resign.”

Mr Moore said: “It is out of the question that Mr Griffiths-Jones should be staying where he is.”

The FCA declined to comment.