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UK watchdog fines BDO for audit of insurer AmTrust Europe

Britain's accounting watchdog on Wednesday fined BDO 160,000 pounds ($207,040) for unintentional rule breaches in its audit of international insurer AmTrust Europe Limited, saying the auditor would have to implement a training programme.

LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - Britain's accounting watchdog on Wednesday fined BDO 160,000 pounds ($207,040) for unintentional rule breaches in its audit of international insurer AmTrust Europe Limited, saying the auditor would have to implement a training programme.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said the fine was reduced from 200,000 pounds for early admissions regarding audits for 2014 and 2015. The truth and fairness of the financial statements for the two years were not in question, and the breaches were not intentional, the FRC said.

BDO had no immediate comment.

One of the breaches related to a failure in documentation. Other breaches related to provisions for claims and the use of independent actuaries as experts.

"The failings in this case related to an area of high audit risk, namely the consideration of an insurance company's approach to its provision for claims," said Jamie Symington, the FRC's Deputy Executive Counsel.

"The auditors relied on the opinions of independent expert actuaries without taking sufficient steps to gain an understanding of or to evaluate their work."

Some of the shortcomings came to light in the FRC's annual checks on samples of 2015 audits of Britain's leading accounting firms, the watchdog said.

The watchdog said the fine, which included a reprimand for BDO partner David Roberts, reflected that BDO and Roberts have a good compliance history and disciplinary record with no prior sanctions.

BDO, among the next tier down from the Big Four auditors of KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PwC, is required to implement a training programme to improve how it obtains and evaluates independent actuarial audit evidence.

($1 = 0.7736 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Potter)

((huw.jones@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 3326; Reuters Messaging: huw.jones.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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