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Directive 2006/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the CouncilShow full title

Directive 2006/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts, amending Council Directives 78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC and repealing Council Directive 84/253/EEC (Text with EEA relevance)

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Article 22U.K.Independence and objectivity

[F11. Member States shall ensure that, when carrying out a statutory audit, a statutory auditor or an audit firm, and any natural person in a position to directly or indirectly influence the outcome of the statutory audit, is independent of the audited entity and is not involved in the decision-taking of the audited entity.

Independence shall be required at least during both the period covered by the financial statements to be audited and the period during which the statutory audit is carried out.

Member States shall ensure that a statutory auditor or an audit firm takes all reasonable steps to ensure that, when carrying out a statutory audit, his, her or its independence is not affected by any existing or potential conflict of interest or business or other direct or indirect relationship involving the statutory auditor or the audit firm carrying out the statutory audit and, where appropriate, its network, managers, auditors, employees, any other natural persons whose services are placed at the disposal or under the control of the statutory auditor or the audit firm, or any person directly or indirectly linked to the statutory auditor or the audit firm by control.

The statutory auditor or the audit firm shall not carry out a statutory audit if there is any threat of self-review, self-interest, advocacy, familiarity or intimidation created by financial, personal, business, employment or other relationships between:

  • the statutory auditor, the audit firm, its network, and any natural person in a position to influence the outcome of the statutory audit, and

  • the audited entity,

as a result of which an objective, reasonable and informed third party, taking into account the safeguards applied, would conclude that the statutory auditor's or the audit firm's independence is compromised.]

[F12. Member States shall ensure that a statutory auditor, an audit firm, their key audit partners, their employees, and any other natural person whose services are placed at the disposal or under the control of such statutory auditor or audit firm and who is directly involved in statutory audit activities, and persons closely associated with them within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Commission Directive 2004/72/EC (1) , do not hold or have a material and direct beneficial interest in, or engage in any transaction in any financial instrument issued, guaranteed, or otherwise supported by, any audited entity within their area of statutory audit activities, other than interests owned indirectly through diversified collective investment schemes, including managed funds such as pension funds or life insurance.]

3.Member States shall ensure that a statutory auditor or audit firm documents in the audit working papers all significant threats to his, her or its independence as well as the safeguards applied to mitigate those threats.

[F14. Member States shall ensure that persons or firms referred to in paragraph 2 do not participate in or otherwise influence the outcome of a statutory audit of any particular audited entity if they:

(a)

own financial instruments of the audited entity, other than interests owned indirectly through diversified collective investment schemes;

(b)

own financial instruments of any entity related to an audited entity, the ownership of which may cause, or may be generally perceived as causing, a conflict of interest, other than interests owned indirectly through diversified collective investment schemes;

(c)

have had an employment, or a business or other relationship with that audited entity within the period referred in paragraph 1 that may cause, or may be generally perceived as causing, a conflict of interest.]

[F25. Persons or firms referred to in paragraph 2 shall not solicit or accept pecuniary and non-pecuniary gifts or favours from the audited entity or any entity related to an audited entity unless an objective, reasonable and informed third party would consider the value thereof as trivial or inconsequential.

6. If, during the period covered by the financial statements, an audited entity is acquired by, merges with, or acquires another entity, the statutory auditor or the audit firm shall identify and evaluate any current or recent interests or relationships, including any non-audit services provided to that entity, which, taking into account available safeguards, could compromise the auditor's independence and ability to continue with the statutory audit after the effective date of the merger or acquisition.

As soon as possible, and in any event within three months, the statutory auditor or the audit firm shall take all such steps as may be necessary to terminate any current interests or relationships that would compromise its independence and shall, where possible, adopt safeguards to minimise any threat to its independence arising from prior and current interests and relationships.]

(1)

[F1Commission Directive 2004/72/EC of 29 April 2004 implementing Directive 2003/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards accepted market practices, the definition of inside information in relation to derivatives on commodities, the drawing up of lists of insiders, the notification of managers' transactions and the notification of suspicious transactions ( OJ L 162, 30.4.2004, p. 70 ).]

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