U.S. inspects British accountants

Stephen Beard Sep 19, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: In Britain, some U.S. regulators swooped into the offices of a London accounting firm. British financiers aren’t taking it very well. Here’s Stephen Beard:


STEPHEN BEARD: The American officials were operating under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act brought in after the Enron affair. The Act obliges them to scrutinize foreign accounting firms if those firms audit companies with a U.S. listing.

The U.S. officials have just inspected one of Britain’s big four accountants in London. The other three are also expecting visits.

Fund manager Justin Urquart-Stewart says it looks like the US throwing its weight around abroad. The British accountants are properly regulated in Britain.

JUSTIN URQUART-STEWART: Let’s play fair and on an even basis. And not necessarily having one try to dominate the other. It doesn’t help relations. It doesn’t help business.

News of the American inspections follows a series of extraditions of British businesspeople to the US under a treaty widely regarded here as one-sided.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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