As reported in our recent Updates, the House of Lords’ inquiry examining the role of the audit industry during the financial crisis and the concentration of the audit market began on 12 October 2010. Publication of the Committee’s final report is due as we go to press.

Since our last Update, former City Minister Lord Myners has appeared before the Committee. He suggested that the OFT investigate the dominance of the Big Four accounting firms. His recommendations included that the OFT break up the larger firms to improve competition. His suggestions are notable as they go further than most other proposed reforms of the audit market which have been raised before the Committee to date. An OFT spokeswoman has indicated that it is awaiting final reports from the inquiry before deciding whether to launch an investigation into the Big Four.