UK - Sweeping reforms on the way auditors operate are being introduced by the government to help restore investor confidence in equities.
Proposed reforms unveiled by trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt will force companies to rotate their auditors regularly and impose limits on the extra services auditing firms can offer.
The proposals also call for audit committees to start acting in shareholders’ and not companies’ interests. These committees, it says, should be made up entirely of independent non-executive directors.
The Office of Fair Trading is also being asked to examine the big four accounting firms and their monopoly on the auditing of large corporations.
Other proposals would see the Financial Reporting Review Panel take a more proactive role in maintaining high auditing standards. Presently it just responds to complaints.
UK inflation unexpectedly rose to 2.7% in August, beating analysts' expectations of a drop to 2.4% from 2.5% the previous month.
The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) helped 187,000 people in 2017/18, a 9% fall on the previous year despite setting up special helplines for specific scheme members.
The Liberal Democrat party has passed a motion pledging to cap tax-free lump sums under Freedom of Choice at £40,000 if elected into government.