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[January 04, 2014]
RSA's oversights set to come into focus
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The stock market adage says profit warnings come in threes, so 2014 should be a stellar year for troubled insurance firm RSA - which neatly got its trio of disasters out of the way during an efficient six-week period last year.
You'll recall that the fiasco partly revolved around the uncovering of accounting irregularities in the firm's Irish arm, knocking 2013's profit expectations and leading to the departure of Simon Lee, the group chief executive.
Since then there have been rumours that the company is going to have to put itself up for sale, raise capital, cut costs, or opt for a combination of all three. But on Thursday we may get more clues about what caused the calamity when the company releases the key findings of a review by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers into the "oversight and controls of the Irish business".
The task of hosting the presentation will fall to the chairman, Martin Scicluna, so it will be especially interesting to hear what he has to say about the role played by accountants Deloitte, RSA's former auditor, which failed to spot anything untoward.
This is an area Scicluna, who has been RSA chairman for a year, knows well. Up until 2007, he headed the auditing business of, er, Deloitte.
(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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