Investigation launched into audits of collapsed property giant

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has launched an investigation into PwC’s audits of failed shopping centre owner Intu Properties.

Intu owned major shopping centres across the country, including the Trafford Centre and Arndale in Manchester, Merry Hill and Potteries in the West Midlands, and Victoria Centre in Nottingham and intu Derby.

Intu entered administration in June 2020 after breaching debt covenants but the group’s financial troubles pre-dated the pandemic.

Its 2019 accounts warned of a “material uncertainty” about its ability to continue because of high debts and falling incomes and valuations. The property giant owed £4.5bn when it collapsed.

The FRC’s enforcement division is investigating Intu’s 2017 and 2018 accounts after a review by its conduct committee. The audits were signed off by London-based auditors Ranjan Sriskandan, who has since retired, and Mark Pugh.

PwC said: “We will co-operate fully with the FRC in its enquiries. Delivering consistently high quality audits remains our primary focus and we continue to make significant investment in our audit practice.”

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