PTSB to switch auditors from KPMG to PwC
State-controlled Permanent TSB is set to end an 18-year relationship with auditors KPMG and appoint rival accounting firm PwC in its place.
This follows a tendering process in which a small number of accounting firms were invited to pitch for the work.
The decision does not affect KPMG’s role as auditors to Irish Life, which was separated from PTSB in June through its sale to the State.
Both were previously part of Irish Life & Permanent.
PTSB will seek the approval of shareholders for the switch at its annual general meeting in May.
In the meantime, KPMG will continue to prepare PTSB’s financial statements for 2012.
‘Good corporate governance’
A spokesman for PTSB confirmed that the board of the bank had decided to propose the switch to shareholders.
He said it was a matter of “good corporate governance and good financial management [for the bank] to have competitive tendering for auditors”.
“We’ve had a very good relationship with KPMG over the years,” he added.
The spokesman said it was anticipated that tendering will be a feature of the bank in the future.
The tender process was led by Emer Daly, a non-executive director of PTSB who chairs the bank’s audit committee.
KPMG took on the role of auditor with Irish Permanent in 1994 and then with Irish Life Permanent following the merger of the life and banking groups in 1999.
In July, PTSB announced plans to close 16 branches and shed up to 250 full-time staff over the next four years as part of a major restructuring designed to reduce its operating costs by 10 per cent, or €25 million, and return it to profitability.
The bank has received a €4 billion bailout from the exchequer and is 99.2 per cent owned by the State although it also retains a stock market listing.
Shares in PTSB closed down in Dublin yesterday by 4.3 per cent at 2.2 cent, a fall of 0.001 cent.
The role of accounting firms in the collapse of Ireland’s banking sector has come under the spotlight recently.
Last month, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation initiated legal proceedings against Ernst Young for its role as auditor to Anglo Irish Bank before it was taken into State ownership in 2009.