PWC has been fined $25m (£15m) and banned from some consulting work for two years by New York State’s financial regulator because of misconduct during work at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
The deal, agreed yesterday with New York’s Department of Financial Services, settles allegations that the accounting giant helped Japan’s biggest lender hide US sanctions violations by “improperly” altering a report submitted to regulators.
Along with the fine, PwC must abstain from undertaking consulting work at financial institutions regulated by the state department for 24 months and implement a series of reforms.
Under pressure from bank executives, PwC watered down a report on wire transfers in order to hide the bank’s dealings with blacklisted states, such as Iran and Sudan, the regulator said.
“When bank executives pressure a consultant to whitewash a supposedly ‘objective’ report to regulators – and the consultant goes along with it – that can strike at the very heart of our system of prudential oversight,” said Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of financial services.