The UK financial regulator prohibits advisory organizations from selling fintech services at the same time as companies buying audit services. At PwC, this led to the decision to let its own fintech arm stand on its own. This also includes a name change from eBAM to LikeZero.
In the consulting world, it has been prohibited for some time to provide auditing and advisory services to the same client at the same time. This seemingly logical measure was introduced into the law in 2013, in order to prevent conflicts of interest and maintain a high level of control. With the development that fintech has gone through in recent years, we have had to wait until such time as such measures are introduced as well.
Under the name of eBAM, the accounting and consulting company PwC has developed a technology with which it provides banks and other financial institutions with automated support for the preparation of contracts that fully comply with existing laws and regulations. A major challenge with legislation and regulations is that they are subject to periodic review, which carries obvious compliance risks. In their own words, some of the largest financial players in the world use this technology.
However, as of now, PwC can no longer offer this technology to customers for whom the company already controls the books. This is the result of the new policy of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), comparable to the Authority for the Financial Markets of the Netherlands (AFM). The FRC now prohibits the sale of control services and fintech services such as eBAM to the same customer. This applies to both existing audit clients and new audit clients.
Therefore, PwC is putting the fintech arm on its own two feet, in which case there is a so-called ‘spin-out’. At the same time, the animal also receives a new name, LikeZero. “Under the new circumstances, PwC is not the best place to turn LikeZero into a global company,” said Michael Lines, the new CEO of LikeZero. Lines was previously ‘Head of Contract Solutions’ at PwC.
PwC sells LikeZero to the current management, which has the financial backing of private equity firms Souter Investments and Manfield Partners.
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