The UK’s accounting industry watchdog has fined professional services firm PwC £5m for “misconduct” in relation to the audit of Connaught, a FTSE 250 company put into administration in 2010.

This is the biggest fine ever administered by the Financial Reporting Council, the independent investigative and disciplinary body for accountants and actuaries in the UK. PwC was also ordered to pay the FRC’s legal costs and to make an interim payment of £1.5m.

Stephen Harrison, a retired PwC audit partner, was also fined £150,000 in relation to the case.

PwC had suggested a £2m-£2.5m penalty for the firm and £50,000 for Mr Harrison.

The FRC said the findings related to three audit areas – mobilisation costs, long term contracts and intangible assets.

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