Auditors Could Be Asked to Snitch

The Central Bank and Finance Ministry are proposing legal changes that will require auditors to pass on to authorities any information they have on breaches of regulations by their clients, Kommersant said Tuesday.

According to the planned changes, auditors must notify the Central Bank and other regulators of any "dishonest" operations by the banks, financial institutions or insurance companies that they service, as well as any regulatory or legal irregularities, the newspaper reported, citing a copy of the proposed changes.

Under current legislation, only a court can order auditors to provide the Central Bank with information on their clients, Kommersant said.

The changes may hurt the business of established auditors as banks switch to using small firms that may be less likely to meet disclosure requirements, Yelena Korotkikh, head of the banking department with BKR Interkom Audit, was cited as saying.