Grant Thornton Exits U.K. Audit Market

Grant Thornton UK has decided to stop bidding for audit contracts from Britain’s largest listed companies, according to Financial Times.

“Structures in the FTSE 350 market make it impossible for us to continue to succeed in it. If this space is dominated by four players and there does not seem to be market appetite to change, let’s focus on areas where we can [succeed]. You have to have that strategic clarity,” says Sacha Romanovitch, chief executive of Grant Thornton UK.

The firm said it had recently won a five-year contract to deliver more than 40% of public sector audit work, demonstrating it has “the capability to deliver quality audit at scale, and compete really effectively,” says Romanovitch.

“If Number 5 has given up trying to compete with the Big 4, what hope for the rest? It looks ever more like government will have to act to restore competition in a market that is failing,” says Frank Field MP, chair of parliament’s work and pensions committee.