Bank of Uganda has suspended audit firm Ernst & Young Uganda from auditing any commercial banks this year.
According to reports the suspension is related to the current Crane Bank mess in which billions of money were mismanaged.
The Observer Newspaper further reports Bank of Uganda took the decision to suspend Ernst & Young after a forensic audit showed the firm’s staff had helped the bank hide critical information from other auditors and the regulators.
“This was multilayered fraud,” said the source. “It had been organised for a long time and deliberately to defraud. And someone had to take punitive measures,” Observer reported.
Therefore, Ernst & Young is not allowed to audit any commercial bank, credit institutions, microfinance and deposit-taking institutions (MDIs), forex bureaus and money remitters in Uganda this year.
Ernst & Young Uganda is a member of the London-headquartered EY Global, which brands itself as “a global leader in assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services.” It says each of its member entities operate independently.
But the firm’s country leader Geoffrey Byamugisha denied that the suspension is related to Crane Bank. “Our suspension is not connected to Crane bank.”
“The issue is that we were suspended because we submitted our pre-qualification documents to a wrong office at Bank of Uganda,” Byamugisha said, without explaining how they came to appear on the first list of the pre-qualified external auditors published on December 31, 2016.
“It has nothing to do with Crane bank,” he said. “In any case, we have never audited Crane bank.”
Bank of Uganda last week dragged tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia accusing him of siphoning shs 400bn from Crane Bank.