Johannesburg - Standard Bank is continuing to use the services of three companies that are under public scrutiny, despite evidence that all of them have been involved in corruption.
“South Africans are, rightly, very concerned by the evidence of serious and widespread corruption in our country,” the bank said, adding that auditing firm KPMG had taken insufficient action to restore its reputation.
“Guided by the SA Reserve Bank, we are concerned to prevent systemic risks to the stability of the financial system that might arise from replacing a large financial services group’s auditors without a carefully planned transition,” the bank added.
Regarding management consulting firm McKinsey, the bank said it was “gravely concerned about allegations” levelled at the company, arising from its dealings with Gupta-linked firm Trillian, as well as Eskom and Transnet. And, said the bank, it was aware of the allegations that software corporation SAP made an improper payment to secure a contract with Transnet.
Standard Bank added that it would make a decision regarding its relationships with McKinsey and SAP.
KPMG stands to lose a significant portion of its business in the country if the government blacklists it from all state-related work. According to responses submitted to Parliament, which City Press is in possession of, the auditing company had 3 948 government-related projects over the past three years. This work earned it R1.732bn, including VAT, which equates to an average of R577m in annual fees.
Last month, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba called on government and state entities to review all work that KPMG had done.
National Treasury spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said it was up to each department and state-related client of KPMG to make its own decision about retaining the firm’s services.
At least eight private sector KPMG clients have dropped the auditor.
And this week, Bloomberg reported that KPMG’s unit in Botswana was being sued by the liquidator of a failed bank.
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