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Absa drops KPMG as external auditor

In a statement released a few minutes ago, KPMG South Africa says it notes the announcement from Barclays Africa Group.

KPMG's Johannesburg offices. Picture: kpmg.com/za

JOHANNESBURG - Absa Bank has dropped KPMG as its auditor, joining a host of other local companies breaking ties with the firm caught up in an influence-peddling scandal.

KPMG South Africa has been losing clients after its own investigation last year found flaws in work it did for the tax collection agency and the Gupta family.

In a statement released on Thursday morning, KPMG South Africa says it notes the announcement from Barclays Africa Group.

The firm says it is disappointed but fully accepts the decision.

"We are disappointed by, but fully accept the decision. We are very proud of the work that we have performed for Barclays Africa Group over many years, and of the diligence and professionalism of the team who served them.

"We have implemented far-reaching changes over the past seven months to all aspects of the firm, including governance, quality, and risk management. Work to further underpin the quality of our services and integrity of our professionals continues.

"We are confident the steps we are taking to change the firm are the right steps to restore trust in KPMG, and we remain resolute in our determination to achieve this goal."

Last month, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu terminated its contracts with KPMG and Nkonki Inc, which had been implicated in Gupta-related controversies, saying that the termination extends to all branches of government.

Makwetu said that recent media reports relating to the external audit of VBS Mutual Bank and the conduct of KPMG audit partners are some of the reasons that prompted the decision to withdraw all KPMG audit mandates with immediate effect.

This is the first time the Auditor-General has terminated work with one of the big four auditing firms.

Additional reporting by Tendani Mulaudzi.

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