M&C Saatchi confirms accounting scandal probe ends

The advertising agency has revealed the Financial Conduct Authority will take no action, whilst also announcing a profit upgrade.

Simon Neville
Friday 21 January 2022 08:01
The FCA has dropped an investigation into an accounting scandal at M&C Saatchi (FCA/PA)
The FCA has dropped an investigation into an accounting scandal at M&C Saatchi (FCA/PA)

Advertising agency M&C Saatchi has revealed the financial watchdog has dropped an investigation into the company over an accounting scandal.

M&C Saatchi, which found fame working for the Conservative Party in the 1990s, first uncovered accounting irregularities in 2019.

It led to the launch of an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in January 2020 after accountants at PwC conducted an external review, saying M&C would take an £11.6 million hit.

The company is pleased to report that the Financial Conduct Authority has notified the company that its investigation of the company, first announced in January 2020, is being closed and that no enforcement action will be taken against the Company by it.

M&C Saatchi

Two profit warnings followed but the company said the matter has finally been put to rest.

M&C Saatchi said: “The company is pleased to report that the Financial Conduct Authority has notified the company that its investigation of the company, first announced in January 2020, is being closed and that no enforcement action will be taken against the company by it.”

Bosses added they had a strong end to the year and expect pre-tax profits to be “materially ahead” of previous expectations.

Dividends will return as a result and the start of 2022 has seen “major client wins”, it added.

M&C Saatchi was founded in 1995 by brothers Maurice and Charles Saatchi after they walked out of Saatchi & Saatchi following a spat with investors.

Maurice Saatchi also quit M&C Saatchi in December 2019 during the uncovering of the accounting scandal along with three independent directors in an alleged dispute over reforms the company wanted to make.

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