Mark Hoban and Ed Davey to answer on audit market concentration

25 January 2011

Mark Hoban MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury (pictured), and Ed Davey MP, Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, will give evidence to the House Lords Economic Affairs Committee at 3.35pm on Tuesday 25 January for the inquiry Auditors: Market concentration and their role.

The Committee are nearing the end of a detailed inquiry into the impact on the audit market of dominance by the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms. The inquiry has examined a range of interesting questions including: how market concentration affects the price,  quality and reliability of audits, whether it damages the interests of investors who have to rely on auditors assessments, whether the provisions of other services such as management consultancy by the ‘Big 4’ accountants to their audit clients weakens their independence, and the role of auditors in the banking and financial crises.

The Committee will quiz the Ministers on a range of issues, and as the Ministers with direct responsibility in this area will ask how the Government intend to improve competition in the audit market and what lessons can be drawn from the role of bank auditors in the financial crisis.

Following the evidence session next week the Committee will consider the evidence they have received throughout the inquiry and aim to produce a final report to Parliament in the Spring. The Government will then publish a response to this report within two months.

The evidence session takes place in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords. Also giving evidence with the Ministers will be the Director of Business Environment, at BIS.

Further information

The Economic Affairs Committee is one of the five permanent investigative committees in the House of Lords and is charged with considering economic affairs. 

Public committee sessions are open to everyone, including the press, and follow proceedings from the public gallery.

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