Serious questions raised over PwC 

 The business advisors, that were brought in to carry out a report into the shambolic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme which will cost the tax payer over £400 million, are involved in numerous scandals, it can be revealed.

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) is also regularly used by the PSNI to carry out forensic accounting in relation to economic crime.

It can be revealed that, according to well-placed legal sources, PwC are now facing becoming embroiled in an ongoing legal action by a high profile Northern Ireland businessman.

 It is alleged that PwC were appointed by a local company’s directors, on the instruction of a prominent bank. It was not, however, revealed to the company that PwC and the bank were actually working together to strip company of their assets. They then disposed of the assets, at a knock down price, to their chosen circle of business associates.

It isn’t the first time that Pwc have been involved in scandals. Below is a sample list of some of the recent issues to arise in relation to PwC:

• PwC were sued for $5.5bn for negligence in a mortgage case

• PwC were sued by Bill Gates over a corruption scandal

• Prosecutors investigated PwC for their role in the Tyco scandal

• Former PwC employers faced trial over their role in LuxLeaks scandal

• Temporary worker was sent home from PwC, for not wearing high enough heels

• Tesco dumped PwC after a £263 million accounting fiasco

• PwC were implicated in the Barclay’s libor scandal

• PwC have been accused of selling mass marketed tax avoidance schemes

• PwC partners faced trial for tax fraud

• John Lewis dumped PwC over concerns arising from an increasing number of scandals

• PwC employee had to publicly admit that he took confidential files

• PwC forced to investigate a sexist email scandal involving staff in their Dublin office

PwC have previously been alleged to have been involved in a pattern of collusion with corrupt banks. 

The pattern referred to is that a bank advises their customer to appoint PWC, however, behind the customer’s back PwC reports all confidential matters to the bank. These confidential reports include tax returns and audit files, unlawfully passed to the bank without the client’s knowledge or approval. PwC then advise their ‘client’, at a time of the banks choosing, that they should go into administration. 

More often than not it is PwC themselves that are appointed as administrators, and accordingly they strip the client’s assets and sell them to pre-selected parties, generally picked from the favoured golden circle.

The above pattern of behaviour is at odds with the words of Paul Terrington, the Chairman of the Institute of Directors and PwC (NI). Writing in the March/April edition of Business First, Mr Terrington, in an article carrying the headline ‘Trust’, said;

“Across the nation we are experiencing a growth in cynicism and a decline in trust.”

He further said “what underpins trust are transparency, honesty and a tone from the top that defines the purpose of an organisation, its value and place within wider society.”

There is much more to come in relation to ongoing scandals involving PwC, however at this point in time it is important that PwC’s role in the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is fully explored. 

It is further important that the PSNI explain why PwC, who are embroiled in a litany of fraud and corruption scandals, are chosen to carrying out forensic accounting for their economic crime department.

If trust and transparency are key, then those who sought PwC’s assistance on the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, and the PSNI that continue to use PWC’s services, must inform the public whether they feel that this firm can be trusted.

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