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PricewaterhouseCoopers hit with $25M fine

Rochester Business Journal
August 18, 2014

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s regulatory advisory services will be suspended for 24 months by the state Department of Financial Services and fined $25 million for improperly altering a report on Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, officials said Monday.

The company cannot accept consulting engagements at financial institutions regulated by the department during its suspension and must pay $25 million to New York, officials said.

It also must implement reforms after removing a warning in a report to regulators related to the bank’s scheme to falsify wire transfer information for Iran, Sudan and other sanctioned entities, DFS officials said.

The department spent more than 12 months investigating PricewaterhouseCoopers, officials said. The firm altered a historical transaction review submitted to regulators on wire transfers the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi performed on behalf of sanctioned countries and entities, they said.

“We are continuing to find examples of improper influence and misconduct in the bank consulting industry,” DFS superintendent of financial services Benjamin Lawsky said in a statement.

“As a regulatory community, it may well be advisable for us to take a hard look in the mirror and ask whether we are doing enough to root out and investigate this troubling web of conflicts.”

The two PricewaterhouseCoopers partners that supervised the historical transaction review are retired, officials said. A PwC director who led the firm’s technology and data collection team is now a partner at the firm, they said.

With 41 local CPAs, PricewaterhouseCoopers ranked fifth on the Rochester Business Journal’s most recent list of accounting firms in the region.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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