A UK financial regulator has called for an inquiry into whether the big four accounting firms should be broken up to end their dominance in auditing the accounts of Britain's biggest listed companies. Stephen Haddrill, CEO of the Financial Reporting Council, which regulates accountants, said Britain's Competition and Markets Authority should investigate the case for "audit-only" firms to bolster competition and stamp out conflicts of interest. It would force the big four firms - Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC - to spin off their UK audit arms into separate businesses. Haddrill's intervention follows a string of corporate accounting scandals, ranging from Carillion in Britain to Steinhoff in South Africa and Petrobras in Brazil. "There is a loss of confidence in audit and I think that the industry needs to address that urgently," he said. Haddrill has discussed investigating the UK audit market with the Competition and Markets Authority. He said the Financial Reporting Council was initia...

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