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Banks: Loans

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions since 2000 the accounts of a UK bank have been qualified by the auditors on grounds arising from concerns about loans made to (a) entities and (b) individuals overseas whose ability to repay was questionable. (250207)

[holding answer 22 January 2009]: The directors of a UK financial institution are required to write down a loan in their accounts when they have doubts about the collectability of a loan (whether made to a domestic or offshore individual or entity).

If the auditor believes directors have understated or inappropriately disclosed the write down it must provide an emphasis of matter (if inadequate) or qualification (if misleading) in its audit report.

Audit reports and the qualifications they contain are published in conjunction with entities financial statements and filed at Companies House. No central database recording this class of audit qualifications is maintained.