“Taking these measures as a package with the draft audit reform bill outlined a few weeks ago, the government’s approach has a half-hearted and lop-sided feel to it. Lessons from Carillion and other recent company failures have been ignored, with little emphasis now on tightening internal controls and modernising corporate governance.
“If ministers really think this is enough to restore public trust in business or reinforce the UK’s position as a leading global destination for investment, their confidence is misplaced.
“We support government’s ambitions to increase choice and improve quality in the audit market, but the challenge will be to achieve this while sustaining and growing capacity in the sector. The new regulator, ARGA, will be key to this - which is why it is a great pity that we will have to wait years for it to be established.”