Raymond Doherty 26 Apr 2018 08:42am

Big Four "oligopoly" to be addressed, says Tyrie

The Big Four firms’ dominance of the audit market needs to be addressed, says the new chair of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

Former Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie has hinted that the “competition aspect” of the Big Four is “certainly” something that needs to be looked at. He added that some “consider it an oligopoly,” according to reports.

This echoes calls made in March by the FRC for an inquiry into breaking the Big Four into separate parts. FRC chief executive Stephen Haddrill said the CMA should look into possibility of “audit only” firms.

“There is a loss of confidence in audit and I think that the industry needs to address that urgently. In some circles, there is a crisis of confidence,” he said.

Tyrie was questioned by MPs yesterday over his suitability for the role of CMA chair. He formerly headed the Treasury Select Committee and was known as a strong critic of parts of the banking and financial sectors after the financial crash.

Tyrie will replace David Currie as head of the CMA. He will be responsible for leading the independent competition authority during the Brexit transitional period.

The appointment is subject to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.

As well as his work at the TSC, Tyrie has also served as the chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on banking standards, whose recommendations for the reform of governance in major financial institutions are currently being implemented. He was also chairman of the Liaison Committee and the committee of select committee chairs.