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UK's KPMG boss Bill Michael steps down pending probe into jibes at staff

During a virtual meeting on Monday, members of KPMG's financial services consulting team told Bill Michael about their concerns over potential cuts to pay and the ranking of individuals' performance. Following which Michael told staff to "stop moaning" and to stop "playing the victim card".

February 12, 2021 / 04:02 PM IST
UK's KPMG chairman Bill Michael. (PC-Yahoo Finance)

UK's KPMG chairman Bill Michael. (PC-Yahoo Finance)

The UK chairman of KPMG has stepped down pending an internal investigation after he told staff at the global accountancy firm to "stop moaning" about working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

The Financial Times reported that during a virtual meeting on Monday, members of KPMG's financial services consulting team told Bill Michael about their concerns over potential cuts to pay and the ranking of individuals' performance.

Exclusive: Swiggy Auditor KPMG points out discrepancy in accounting

Michael told staff to "stop moaning" and to stop "playing the victim card", according to the FT, citing employees.

The chairman apologised in a statement relayed to AFP, but the firm confirmed he was also stepping down for now.

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"Following the meeting on 8 February, the firm initiated an independent investigation into the alleged comments in accordance with its usual procedures," a KPMG UK spokesperson said.

"Mr Michael has decided to step aside from his duties as chair while the investigation is under way," the spokesperson said, declining to comment further.

KPMG is one of Britain's so-called Big Four accountancy groups along with Deloitte, EY and PWC.

They are set for a shake-up as UK authorities want the industry to separate their audit and more lucrative consulting activities, while increasing oversight and competition following allegations of malpractice.
AFP
first published: Feb 12, 2021 04:02 pm

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