Third par says: 'Our accounts and [sic] produced and audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.' Like an FD addendum? No by-line, please, but source Financial Director if poss!Terry Smith has a habit of making himself unpopular with banks. Most famous for getting canned by Union Bank of Switzerland over his book, Accounting for Growth, which slagged off corporate clients? accounts, it?s sometimes forgotten that he was also the one who wrote a ?sell? circular on Barclays - when he was employed by Barclays de Zoete Wedd.Now he?s having a pop at Royal Bank, claiming that RBS?s (perfectly legitimate) accounting treatment is less conservative than that of NatWest bidder, Bank of Scotland. The result is to flatter Royal Bank?s pretax profit line and cost ratios.But it's of some concern to read that a spokesman for the bank weasled out of a confrontation with a Sunday Business reporter with the simple statement, "Our accounts are properly signed off by PricewaterhouseCoopers and any issues should be addressed to them." Memo to spokesman: accounts are signed by the company?s directors - in Royal Bank?s case, Chairman Viscount Younger, chief exec George Mathewson and dputy chief exec (and virtual FD) Fred Goodwin. Only the audit certificate is signed off by the auditors.
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