In its response to the Financial Reporting Council’s consultation on choice in the audit market, the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) has called for banks not to impose a condition on borrowers that they use a Big 4 audit firm. The ACT accepts that banks should expect prudent and appropriate standards of corporate governance but, it argues, they should not go so far as to impose restrictive covenants relating to the use of one of the Big 4 audit firms unless there are obvious good reasons for requiring a Big 4 auditor.

Such good reasons may exist, according to the ACT, where finance is being provided for a stand alone project in a foreign country or where the borrower group is particularly complex or has operations across several international borders.