CAPE TOWN – The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) was investigating auditing firm Deloitte over the alleged accounting irregularities that led to the share price of South African multinational retailer Steinhoff collapsing, it emerged on Friday.
David Maynier, an MP from the opposition party, Democratic Alliance, said in a statement that he had received word that the AFM was investigating after requesting three regulatory bodies in Germany, Netherlands and South Africa to investigate.
“We need to know whether Deloitte Accountants BV turned a blind eye to accounting irregularities at Steinhoff International NV,” said Maynier.
“In the end, we need to be tough on crime in the public sector, and tough on crime in the private sector, and that is why we will ensure that the accounting irregularities at Steinhoff International Holdings NV, are fully investigated both abroad and in South Africa.”
In a statement issued on the AFM website on Tuesday, it confirmed it was probing Deloitte.
“The Dutch branch of Deloitte audits since 2016 the financial statements of Steinhoff, which is seated in the Netherlands since 2015,” the AFM statement said.
“Deloitte issued a clean opinion over the 2015-2016 Steinhoff Financial Statements. Steinhoff’s management concluded on 13 December that the 2016 Financial Statements do no longer meet the requirements as per Dutch law. Following that, Deloitte withdrew its approval to use their audit opinion.”
AFM said it was critical for the adequate functioning of capital markets that auditor issued opinions that were “free from any doubt”.