Chancellor Gordon Brown has ordered a review of the accounting industry according to The Times today,...
The paper quotes sources within the Treasury saying the review was one of the first acts ordered following Brown's return after taking time off following the death of his daughter last month.
The Treasury was ordered to find out whether an Enron-style bankruptcy could occurr in the UK.
This is likely to result in close scrutiny of the way accountancy firms do business with their clients.
The Treasury is also expected to liaise with the FSA, which is performing its own investigation into accountancy practices.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company called in to act as receiver to Enron's UK operations, says it has found 250,000 transactions involving 1,000 companies across Europe, raising fears that the Enron bankruptcy could bring down with it a number of European companies too.
The Times notes that the FSA itself is in trouble on the issue because a conservative MP is challenging its decision to buy consultancy services from its accounting firm Ernst & Young.
Picking up the theme, The Scotsman today says that DTI minister Brian Wilson has asked Bank of Scotland to explain its decision to appoint KPMG as reciever in relation to the failure of Aberdeen textile firm Richards despiter having previously performed a financial investigation into the company on behalf of the bank.
"Wilson's comments will increase pressure on the government to introduce legislation preventing consultants that carry out financial healthchecks, which may in turn precipitate a firm's collapse, being appointed as their receivers later on," The Scotsman writes.
"The government is considering placing curbs on the dual role in new restrictions in its insolvency Bill which is expected in spring."
Meanwhile, most papers report the fact that Enron's former chief executive Kenneth Lay has gone underground and may not reappear despite being issued a subpoena by the US Congress, which is holding hearings into the collapse of the energy trading company.
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