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PwC T&T says apartment purchases above board
There was no breach in professional ethics by partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers T&T (PwC T&T) who own apartments at One Woodbrook Place, spokesperson for the auditing firm, Territory Assurance Leader, Sean Ramirez, said yesterday. “There were no self-interest threats as the units were purchased at prices that are available to the public and hence there was no personal financial gain from their positions as partners in the audit firm,” he said.
Ramirez confirmed that all applicable stamp duty was paid and said the transactions were in adherence to international ethical standards and best practices, in particular, the code issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA). “A representative from the vendor confirmed that the purchases made directly from the audit client were at the listed prices available to the public and those made from third parties were also at market value,” he added. “There was never a self-interest threat.”
“Partners’ decisions to purchase property in their own names and to conduct personal transactions are just that; their personal decisions,” he said. “All partners and staff are fully aware of the firm’s independence policies and code of conduct through regular training, alerts and completion of annual confirmations.”
Ramirez said on the question of ethics, all was above board. “Partners are permitted to purchase goods and services on an arm’s length basis in the normal course of business from an audit client or a related entity. “We are satisfied the transactions reported were not unethical and did not create a threat to our independence,” he said.
Ramirez said there was no link between the local firm and a the PwC criticised in a United States’ regulator’s report, that of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). “PricewaterhouseCoopers around the world is a network of independent firms. PwC T&T is locally owned and operated. The firm has no connection whatsoever to the recent PCAOB report. The PCAOB is a US-based regulator and has no jurisdiction over PwC T&T.”
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