By Our reporter
Barclays Africa announced on Thursday that it is dropping KPMG as auditors.
KPMG has been embroiled in controversy over its work for the South Africa’s Gupta family‚ which has faced a barrage of allegations linked to state capture as well as its staggering future.
Barclays, one of KPMG’s major financial customers and South Africa’s second-biggest lender by market value, joins more than 10 other clients, including the government and broker Sasfin, to break ties with KPMG since 2017.
KPMG’s troubles began over work it did for a company owned by the Gupta family, who are alleged to have used their links to former president Jacob Zuma to amass wealth.
A KPMG inquiry found flaws in work it did for the Guptas, who along with Zuma deny any wrongdoing, and the national tax agency. The auditor has said it is cooperating with authorities and addressing its shortcomings.
According to reuters.com, the audit firm’s woes deepened after it was revealed in April that two top KPMG auditors failed to disclose loans from VBS Mutual Bank, which they were auditing, prompting South Africa’s Auditor General to say that month he would terminate all government contracts with KPMG.
This revelation also proved to be the last straw for Barclays Africa, whose board had proposed at the end of March that KPMG be reappointed as its joint auditor along with EY at a shareholder meeting later in May.
Meanwhile, the same controversial KPMG was recently among the audit firms shortlisted by the Auditor General John Muwanga to investigate Bank of Uganda operations which led to the fraudulent takeover of Crane Bank.
However, it was revealed that the audit firm did not qualify for the job due to conflict of interest having been clients of Bank of Uganda.