Frances Ball 21 May 2019 11:07am

Goldman Sachs chooses Mazars over BDO

Goldman Sachs has chosen a non-Big Four auditor for the first time

The bank has chosen Mazars, the eighth-largest accountancy firm in the UK, to audit its European operation.

Mazars will replace PwC as European auditor for Goldman Sachs International. PwC has checked the bank’s books for almost a century, and it will remain as Goldman’s group auditor.

Goldman did not consider any of the other Big Four firms because they all provide consultancy services to the bank.

Goldman’s decision comes as regulators push to increase competition in the audit market, and lessen the Big Four’s dominance.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) called for an operational split between audit and consultancy arms of the Big Four in the UK. It also proposed mandatory joint audits, in an effort to widen access to the market for challenger firms.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee has argued for a full structural break up of the Big Four – pushing the CMA’s proposals even further, toward a total split between audit and non-audit business.

The audit rules introduced in 2016 require listed companies in Europe to change their auditor every 20 years. The same applies to US or Asian companies considered as “public interest entities” in Europe.

Goldman Sachs reported revenues of almost $8bn (£6.3bn) in Europe last year.

Mazars confirmed the appointment with Goldman Sachs, but declined to comment on it any further.