The top of EY Germany, the longstanding auditor of disgraced funds agency Wirecard, is anticipated to step down from the function, based on individuals aware of the matter.
Hubert Barth, who has led EY in Germany since 2016, is anticipated to take one other place inside the firm, the individuals mentioned, including that his departure from the highest job could possibly be introduced as early as Thursday.
The change nonetheless must be formally signed off at board conferences in Germany on Thursday, the individuals mentioned.
Barth’s anticipated transfer comes a day after EY introduced a reorganisation of its operations in western Europe that can group collectively companies with mixed revenues of $4.65bn and 27,000 workers.
As Wirecard’s longstanding auditor, EY has been beneath intense strain because the funds agency collapsed into insolvency in one in every of Germany’s largest accounting frauds. EY had beforehand issued unqualified audits for Wirecard for a few decade.
Munich prosecutors final 12 months launched a felony investigation into the EY companions who had been in control of the Wirecard audits after Germany’s audit watchdog filed a felony criticism, saying it discovered proof that they could have violated their skilled duties.
EY has denied any wrongdoing. In December it hit back in opposition to the audit watchdog, claiming that “in our opinion, we have now not been sufficiently granted the authorized proper to be heard on this case up to now”.
Beneath Barth’s management, EY made vital inroads into company Germany, successful market share from its rivals KPMG and PwC. Nevertheless, a number of prestigious purchasers, together with Commerzbank, Deutsche Financial institution’s asset supervisor DWS and state-owned lender KfW have walked away from EY in current months.
EY’s international chairman and chief govt Carmine Di Sibio in September expressed “remorse” that his agency didn’t uncover the fraud sooner. He mentioned the Massive 4 accounting group would “elevate the bar considerably” on its vetting work.
EY declined to remark. Barth didn’t reply to FT requests for touch upon Thursday morning.