Big Four China units to appeal SEC suspension ruling


The "Big Four" accounting firms said on Thursday they intend to appeal against a ruling by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recommending the suspension of the firms' China units for six months.

Deloitte, Ernst&Young, KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers said in a joint statement that they seek to initiate a review by the SEC Commission without delay, as the decision would not be final or effective until it is approved by the full commission.

An SEC administrative law judge ruled that the Big Four China units should be suspended in the United States for six months in a 112-page ruling.

The Big Four, which audit the books of hundreds of Chinese companies listed in the U.S., were asked to provide audit papers to U.S. regulators after a series of accounting scandals.

The firms, however, declined to offer all the documents, saying providing such access would violate Chinese law.

China and the U.S. have been trying to find a solution, with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board signing a memorandum with Chinese regulators last May. But a deal involving the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to be reached.

"The firms are heartened by the significant progress on information sharing between the Chinese and U.S. regulators over the past year, which the firms have worked hard to support," the joint statement said.