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Yorkshire chairman facing £325,000 fine for role in auditing BHS before its sale for £1

Yorkshire County Cricket Club chairman Steve Denison is facing a reduced fine of £325,000 and a 15-year ban from the accountancy industry for his role in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) auditing of BHS accounts prior to the company’s sale by Sir Philip Green.

Denison, a senior accountant and partner at auditing firm PwC, initially faced a fine of £500,000 only to have the figure trimmed after agreeing to cooperate with the investigation by industry watchdog FRC (Financial Reporting Council).

This follows the sale of flagging retailer BHS by Green to Dominic Chappell in 2015 for £1, following a clean bill of health given by PwC. The retailer collapsed one year later with the loss of 11,000 jobs and a defaulted pension scheme for its workers.

PwC has had its own fine reduced from £10m to £6.5m after agreeing to settle, this represents the largest fine ever measured against a firm by the FRC.

“We recognise and accept that there were serious shortcomings with this audit work and that it is important to learn the necessary lessons,” a PwC statement said. “We are sorry that our work fell well below the professional standards expected of us and that we demand of ourselves.”

Denison has now left PwC where he had worked for the past 30 years alongside his duties as Yorkshire non-executive chairman and member of the club’s Nominations Committee.

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