Steinhoff. Picture: SUPPLIED
Steinhoff. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has confirmed that it will investigate the audits by Deloitte BV of the financial statements of Steinhoff International Holdings.

Steinhoff, which recently announced it was investigating accounting irregularities, has its head office in the Netherlands.

AFM noted in a statement this week that Deloitte had issued a clean opinion for Steinhoff’s 2015-16 financial statements, but that the management of the international retailer had concluded it no longer meets the requirements of Dutch law.

Following this, Deloitte withdrew its approval to use their audit opinion. The publication of the 2016-17 financial statements has been postponed.

"The AFM’s oversight of audit firms aims at contributing [to] audit firms increasing and sustainably safeguarding the quality of statutory audits. It is crucial for a proper functioning of the capital markets that the opinions issued by auditors are free from any doubt," the authority said in a statement.

DA finance spokesman David Maynier said he had also been informed by the AFM’s senior supervision officer for audit and reporting, Martijn Duffels, that AFM had decided to launch an investigation into Deloitte’s role in the audit of Steinhoff’s financial statements.

Said Maynier: "We need to know whether Deloitte Accountants BV turned a blind eye to accounting irregularities at Steinhoff International."

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