The sleaze and corruption at KPMG is tainting the financial services industry, Lwazi Bam, CEO of Deloitte Africa, warned today.
Addressing a conference in Johannesburg, he said society currently sees business as aiding corruption. “These minority elements contribute to tarnish our image, and make us uncomfortable,” he said of the disgraced colleagues.
“We must make sure our own house is in order.”
Bam also noted that South Africa has slipped down the ratings in the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) research, and this is not helped by the falling trust in the accounting profession,
“If voices grow against a profession which is based on trust, we are in trouble,” he said. “This is not a KPMG issue; most professionals at KPMG are good people. We need to introspect as an entire profession, the expectations of us have changed. Society’s expectations are bigger and we as a profession need to respond, and to respond adequately.”
He also referred to reports that Deloitte was recently hit by a hacker. “It did not involve any of our core systems,” he said. But he warned that cyber attacks are growing.
“We advise our clients that quick detection and adequate response is important.”
Deloitte’s emerging markers head Martyn Davies also referred to the WEF annual competitiveness rankings.
“One indicator we are deeply concerned refers to (trust in) institutions – which fell from about 40 to 76,” he said.
“We have seen a slide of (faith in) institutions. It is quite dramatic. We need to do something about it. Better ethics is what it’s all about.”