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PwC woes grow as US$159b Australian fund joins boycott

Tan KW
Publish date: Tue, 06 Jun 2023, 05:35 PM
Tan KW
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Australia’s second largest pension fund has joined the boycott of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), as the fallout of the embattled accounting firm’s tax evasion scandal spreads. 

Australian Retirement Trust, which manages A$240 billion (US$159 billion or RM735.81 billion) for 2.2 million members, “will not be undertaking any new contracts with PwC at this time”, a spokeswoman told Bloomberg in an emailed statement. 

The action, following similar moves by industry giant AustralianSuper and a slew of government entities since last week, is the latest sign of the costly fallout caused by revelations that PwC’s Australian unit used confidential government tax policy information to advise its global clients. 

PwC stands to lose millions of dollars in revenue as clients review their relationship with the accounting agency. The firm describes itself as an “active participant” in Australia’s A$3.4 trillion pension industry, known locally as superannuation, according to its website. 

PwC declined to comment. 

On Monday (June 5), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said its contracts with PwC are also under review, while the Reserve Bank of Australia said last week it wouldn’t enter any contracts with PwC until the issues are resolved.

PwC said this week it had identified 76 current and former partners associated with the scandal, and names had been handed to Australian lawmakers. 

Nine senior partners were put on leave last week, and the firm appointed independent directors to its board. A review is being conducted into its governance and culture, which is due in September. 


  - Bloomberg


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