Deloitte has accused the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) investigator of bias, saying he was hellbent on finding "only negatives" when reviewing audit work done for African Bank before its collapse. In what was initially scheduled to be the last day of the disciplinary hearing in which Irba is looking into the quality of Deloitte’s audit at African Bank, the firm said the investigator had taken on the probe already convinced that there was misconduct, and went in looking for confirmation. Initially one of the hottest stocks on the JSE, African Bank was placed into curatorship in 2014 after it succumbed under the weight of bad debt following its acquisition of furniture retailer Ellerines. A report by John Myburgh on the collapse of the lender accused directors of negligence. The investigation comes at a time when auditing firms are under intense scrutiny in the wake of massive corporate scandals, including the collapse of Steinhoff International’s share price, after...

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