DA welcomes investigation into Deloitte Accountants N.V. for their role in the audit of Steinhoff International Holdings NV by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets
Note to Editors: A copy of a press release from the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets on their investigation into Deloitte Accountants B.V. into the audit of the financial statements of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. can be found here.
Today, I was informed by Mr Martijn Duffels, Senior Supervision Officer, Audit & Reporting, that the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) have decided to launch an investigation into the role of Deloitte Accountants B.V. in the audit of the financial statements of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V.
This follows my request on 07 December 2017 for the regulators in three jurisdictions, including the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (Netherlands), the Auditor Oversight Body (Germany) and the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (South Africa), to investigate the role of Deloitte Accountants B.V. in in the audit of the financial statements of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V.
We need to know whether Deloitte Accountants B.V. turned a blind eye to accounting irregularities at Steinhoff International N.V.
In the end, we need to be tough on crime in the public sector, and tough on crime in the private sector, and that is why we will ensure that the accounting irregularities at Steinhoff International Holdings NV, are fully investigated both abroad and in South Africa.
Copy of the AFM press statement:
AFM starts investigation at Deloitte regarding Steinhoff
19 December 2017 News
The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) confirms that it investigates the audits by Deloitte of the financial statements of Steinhoff.
Recently international media paid much attention to alleged accounting irregularities at Steinhoff. Following this, Steinhoff issued a statement that an inquiry is taking place into these accounting irregularities. The audit firm Deloitte are Steinhoff’s auditors. Steinhoff is a South African furniture multinational with its statutory seat in the Netherlands, the share prices of Steinhoff recently dropped by more than 80% over a short period of time.
The Dutch branch of Deloitte audits since 2016 the financial statements of Steinhoff, which is seated in the Netherlands since 2015. Deloitte issued a clean opinion over the 2015-2016 Steinhoff Financial Statements. Steinhoff’s management concluded on December 13, 2017 that the 2016 Financial Statements do no longer meet the requirements as per Dutch law. Following that, Deloitte withdrew its approval to use their audit opinion. The publication of the 2016-2017 financial statements has been postponed.
The AFM’s oversight of audit firms aims at contributing that audit firms increase and sustainably safeguard the quality of statutory audits. It is crucial for a proper functioning of the capital markets that the opinions issued by auditors are free from any doubt.
Journalists may contact Daniëlle de Jong, AFM Press Officer.
The AFM is committed to promoting fair and transparent financial markets. As an independent market conduct authority, we contribute to a sustainable financial system and prosperity in the Netherlands.
Statement issued by David Maynier MP, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, 22 December 2017