Banking giant HSBC is parting company with KPMG, its auditor for the past two decades, following a “comprehensive and thorough” tender process.
Subject to shareholder approval, rival “big four” firm PwC will take over in 2015. Unilever told PwC last month that it would be seeking a new auditor when its term expires next year.
KPMG has checked HSBC’s books since 1991. John Coombe, chair of the bank’s audit committee, said: “We look forward to a constructive and professional relationship with PwC.”
The Competition Commission has told listed companies to put their audit contracts up for tender every five years, following a report that found some 31 per cent of Britain’s biggest firms have used the same auditor for more than 20 years.
The big-four accountants check the books of every FTSE 100 company except Randgold, the miner that switched from PwC to BDO in 2007.