Appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as auditors

Pursuant to section 520(2) of the Companies Act 2006, a circular has today been posted to the shareholders of Dignity plc (Dignity or the Group) for information only in relation to the statutory statement received from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in connection with their resignation as the Group's auditor. Their resignation follows the Group's competitive tender for the selection of an audit firm and the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP.

As detailed in the Group’s 2013 Annual Report, the Board recognised the ratio of non audit to audit services provided by PwC as having been relatively high. The Board therefore decided to tender the role of external auditor, inviting Ernst & Young LLP, Deloitte LLP and KPMG LLP to be part of the process. PwC did not take part in the tender, leaving them available to continue to provide the non audit services from which the Group has benefited over recent years.

The Group’s policy on non audit fees, as adopted on 1 January 2014 and as detailed in the Group’s 2013 Annual Report, will apply to Ernst & Young LLP. This policy states that non audit fees will be limited to 50 per cent of the annual audit fee unless there are exceptional circumstances, which are defined as:

  • The work necessitates the use of the auditor for regulatory reasons; and
  • Their use represents a material time/ cost benefit to the Group in conducting a transaction.

If the non audit fee to be incurred is in excess of 20 per cent of the audit fee, then Audit Committee approval will be required prior to the work commencing. Further disclosure of the works and the reasons for it will be included in the following Annual Report.

The circular and auditors' statement is available to download below and will be submitted to the National Storage Mechanism and will shortly be available for inspection at www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/NSM.

Download circular and auditors’ statement (PDF 0.24Mb)

For further information please contact:

Steve Whittern, Finance Director
Ishbel Macpherson, Chair of the Audit Committee
Dignity plc +44 (0) 121 354 1557

Richard Oldworth
Sophie McNulty
Clare Akhurst
Buchanan +44 (0) 207 466 5000

Back to Article index

Top of page