A committee chair has called for new legislation to regulate financial auditors in light of the Thomas Cook collapse.
Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves made the comments while chairing a Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee inquiry into the travel company’s failure.
She was quizzing PwC’s Hemione Hudson on a possible conflict of interest in its dealing with Cook’s accounts.
PwC audited Cook between 2007 and 2016, and was paid £1.8million for advising the Cook remuneration committee between 2007 and 2009.
Reeves said: “If the rules hadn’t changed, I put it to you that PwC would be doing exactly the same thing today as you did in the past and it is only because the rules have changed [that you don’t].
“The behaviour of your firm and other big audit firms only changes because the rules change.”
Hudson responded: “I think we wouldn’t do it today even if it were permitted by the rules.”
“I do understand people’s concerns. I understand that we need to move further than the rules and we have done so this year by stopping providing non-auditing services to clients in the Ftse 350.”
She stressed that all the advice given to the remuneration committee was approved by Cook shareholders at that time.
The inquiry continues.