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Gold News & Press Comments
Our partial index of news and press articles about gold or coins.

Telegraph Business
DTTL Appoints Former RBS Auditor as Chairman.

DTTL (Deloitte, Touche Tohmatsu Ltd) one of the 'Big Four' (consisting of DTTL, PWC, KPMG and Ernst and Young) of the world's top auditing firms, has appointed Steve Almond as chairman, despite his role as auditor of the Royal Bank of Scotland's accounts between 2005-2009, in the run up to and aftermath of the Bank's near collapse, which was only averted thanks to a massive bailout funded by the British taxpayer.

DTTL Unrepentent, Investors Furious.

According to an article in the Telegraph's business section, investors are said to be angry that Almond has been appointed to one of the most crucial roles in overseeing the financial sector of the global economy.

One investor accused the Big Four of having their 'heads in the sand' by appointing a man they see as having played a crucial role in failing to spot the poor financial health of a major bank which saw its shares collapse as it became apparent that the amount of toxic debt held by the bank had become completely unsustainable.

Another investor accused the 'Big Four' of having 'no interest' in changing their practices to prevent the disaster of 2008 from happening again, saying that the appointment of Almond epitomised this attitude.

Deloitte itself dismissed any criticism of its decision to appoint Almond, saying that 'No restatements of banks' financial statements or issues of audit quality have been identified despite the high degree of scrutiny by financial, accounting and auditing regulators'.

Implications for Gold.

A major factor in the price of gold is the confidence people have in the economy. Gold tends to go up when investors believe that the outlook in the financial sector is bad. The appointment of a man many hold responsible for failing to prevent the RBS fiasco to one of the world's most important auditing groups could cause a crisis of confidence in a sector of the economy which has been rocked in recent years thanks to the credit crunch and over lending by banks such as RBS. How much of an impact on the price of gold remains to be seen, but we think that it could cause many investors to invest more of their money in gold in fear of another crisis at the hands of some of the same people who they hold responsible for the credit crunch.

We do not know the full extent of Steve Almond's responsibility for the failure of RBS, but as investor confidence is a crucial element in the wellbeing of any economy, regardless of whether they are well founded or not, DTTL's decision to promote him seems positively nutty...

Here is the original article from the Daily Telegraph:

Deloitte attacked for appointing former RBS auditor as chairman
A group of institutional investors has launched an extraordinary attack on Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu for appointing the former auditor of the Royal Bank of Scotland as its new global chairman.

Louise Armistead

The investors are angry that Steve Almond, who was responsible for vetting the accounts of RBS between 2005 and 2009, has been promoted to the head of one of the "Big Four" audit firms.

They argue Mr Almond's appointment will further hamper efforts to assess the faults of both global auditors and international accounting standards in the run-up to the financial crisis and beyond.

Alan MacDougall, head of Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (Pirc), said he found the appointment "disappointing".

He added: "Given the centrality of the audit to protecting the interests of shareholders, and given the amount of shareholder funds lost in the case of RBS including the rights issue in early 2008, this appointment requires some explaining to shareholders."

One investor said: "The Big Four have had their heads in the sand over the financial crisis. They failed to pick up on risks within the banks in the first place and rather than leading the charge for a thorough overhaul, they have collectively done their utmost to protect the status quo.

Another added: "The audit firms and the standards they operate are dominated by a tight group that has no interest in shining a light into the industry. The appointment of Mr Almond absolutely epitomises this."

Experts have warned that the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have dangerously distorted bank accounts since their introduction in 2005. Some believe top accountants should have spotted the problems.

The Government is due to respond to a House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report which was highly critical of the IFRS system.

Deloitte said: "No restatements of banks' financial statements or issues of audit quality have been identified despite the high degree of scrutiny by financial, accounting and auditing regulators."

Investors Question the Wisdom of Appointing Steve Almond as Head of DTTL

Original Article

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