Tuesday , July 16 2024

Deloitte auditors suspended for failure to fulfill responsibilities in SCB scandal

Several auditors at auditing firm Deloitte Vietnam have been suspended by the State Securities Commission for dereliction of duty in the Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SCB) scam. 

 

A branch of the Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank in HCM City. The private lender was taken over by the central bank at the end of 2022 after it had recorded significant losses that had not been previously reported. — VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp 

HCM CITY — Several auditors at auditing firm Deloitte Vietnam have been suspended by the State Securities Commission (SSC) for dereliction of duty in the Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SCB) scam. 

Four individuals, including a deputy general director, directly involved in auditing SCB’s financial reports in 2018 and 2019, have been banned from auditing listed securities businesses for a period of six months.

According to the decision by the SSC, these auditors are forbidden from endorsing audit reports for public entities within the securities sector. 

Deloitte Vietnam, a major auditing firm (along other two auditing firms EY and KMPG), was responsible for auditing SCB in recent years. 

Despite their auditing work, discrepancies in SCB’s financial reporting were discovered when the bank was placed under “special control” by the central bank at the end of 2022, revealing significant losses that had not been previously reported.

Minister of Finance Hồ Đức Phớc had acknowledged signs of misconduct by auditors from the three auditing companies involved in the SCB scandal. 

More auditors from other two auditing firms are expected to be penalised if they were found guilty in the scam as ordered by a local court in HCM City. 

The court had previously ordered an investigation into the roles of the three auditing firms that certified SCB’s books, with penalties being recommended for them if they were found guilty.

As of February 29, Việt Nam has 221 auditing firms with over 2,300 auditors, according to the Finance Ministry.

Last year, the ministry imposed administrative violations on 21 auditing firms, with 17 auditors being suspended for neglecting their duties.

In a related issue, Trương Mỹ Lan, chairwoman of Vạn Thịnh Phát group and a major stakeholder in SCB, was earlier this year sentenced to death for embezzling the bank’s funds over a decade. 

Lan, 68, and her accomplices obtained over 2,500 loans from 2012 to 2022, resulting in losses of VNĐ677 trillion for SCB. 

The court identified Lan as the mastermind behind these organised crimes with irreversible consequences.

In addition, three top executives of SCB were also sentenced to life in prison for aiding Lan in her illicit activities at the bank. — VNS 

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