Goldman switches to Mazars for European audit

The logo of Mazars, an international, integrated organisation, that is specialised in audit, accounting, tax and advisory services is seen on a building in the financial district of la Defense near Paris, France, May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

LONDON (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs International has appointed Mazars to audit its London-based European operations in a major coup for the accounting firm.

The move comes as British lawmakers and regulators are pushing to weaken the grip of PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG, the so-called Big Four accounting firms that dominate audits of top companies in Britain.

A Mazars spokesman confirmed that it would be conducting Goldman Sachs International’s European audit, which is focused on activities in Britain and Germany. It referred all other questions to Goldman.

Mazars is the eighth-largest auditor by fee revenue in Britain but has struggled to win audit work for many large listed or multinational companies, which almost all use one of the Big Four.

A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs confirmed the Mazars appointment, which was first reported by the Financial Times.

The U.S.-headquartered bank said Mazars will start in 2021, while PwC will remain the company’s group auditor.

Goldman is making the change as new European Union rules require listed companies as well as the European operations of a few major multinationals - which include Goldman Sachs - to appoint a new auditor every 20 years. Goldman has previously used PwC for its European operations.

Reporting by Huw Jones and Iain Withers; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and David Goodman