Big Four move
PwC, KPMG and EY split Russia from global networks
UPDATE 7 March: EY followed PwC and KPMG by splitting its Russian businesses from its global networks.
The move by the big four accountancy firms comes after a weekend of announcements from multinationals to suspend operations in Russia and Belarus.
Companies in all sectors – including Marks & Spencer, Visa and most recently American Express – have taken action in the light of Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine. Netflix and the social media company Tiktok have also joined the boycott.
HSBC is also beginning to wind down relations with a number of Russian banks including the second-largest, VTB.
KPMG said its Russia and Belarus firm will leave the KPMG network, a move that will affect over 4,500 partners and staff in Russia and Belarus. PwC’s move will affecting 3,700 partners and staff in the country.
PwC’s global chairman Bob Moritz communicated the firm’s decision to all staff on Sunday evening and he told Sky News: “As a result of the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine we have decided that, under the circumstances, PwC should not have a member firm in Russia and consequently PwC Russia will leave the network.
“Our main focus at PwC continues to be doing all we can to help our Ukrainian colleagues and support the humanitarian efforts to aid the people of Ukraine who have been devastated by this invasion.
“We are also committed to working with our colleagues at PwC Russia to undertake an orderly transition for the business, and with a focus on the wellbeing of our 3,700 colleagues in PwC Russia.”
The most significant corporate announcement from a British company has been BP’s decision to offload its stake in the state-backed Russian oil company Rosneft.
On Monday, EY said it had begun a restructuring of its Russian member firm to separate it from the global network. The EY global organisation will no longer serve any Russian government clients, state-owned enterprises or sanctioned entities and individuals anywhere in the world.
The firm said it will continue to support 700 EY colleagues with financial support, relocation, transportation and immigration services. In addition, the global EY network has offered refugee support, including logistical assistance, volunteer work and financial donations to the wider Ukrainian community.