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Germany wants a pan-European audit regulator
Mar 20, 2003

Germany proposed the setting up of a powerful new pan-European accountancy regulator with the authority to sue deficient national regulatory regimes within the European Union. The proposal is Germany's answer to the new US accountancy oversight board, which was formed in the wake of Enron and other scandals and replaces the audit profession's failed system of self-regulation.

The US regulator said last week it planned to force all non-US auditors working on companies that are listed in the US, or subsidiaries of US companies, to register with it. European officials have threatened retaliation, arguing that auditors could face double jeopardy - the chance of being sued twice in different countries - and high costs of compliance.

The German plan envisages a European regulator, with five members approved by the European Commission, to register all European audit firms, review quality of oversight in EU states and file suit if necessary against national oversight bodies deemed to be deficient.

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