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HSBC replaces long-time auditor KPMG with PwC

Company logos of HSBC are displayed at the entrance and inside one of its branches in Hong Kong March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Company logos of HSBC are displayed at the entrance and inside one of its branches in Hong Kong March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings said PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) will be its auditor from 2015, replacing KPMG, in the first change by a major UK bank after calls from regulators for firms to change their accountants more regularly.

KPMG has been HSBC's auditor since 1991 and the bank said the change follows a competitive tender process.

Banks have come under pressure to change their auditors more frequently to keep accountants on their toes after lenders, some of whom have used the same auditor for over a century, were given a clean bill of health just before they were rescued in the 2008 financial crisis.

Britain's Competition Commission has said it plans to make it mandatory for listed companies to put out their audit work to tender every five years, although critics say it will simply lead to swapping contracts among the "Big Four" accountancy firms.

The Big Four - KPMG, PwC, Ernst & Young and Deloitte - check the books of nearly all big listed companies across the world.

(Reporting by Steve Slater and Huw Jones)

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