February 6, 2015 / 3:36 PM / 4 years ago

"Big Four" China audit firms settle with SEC over document dispute

WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The “Big Four” China-based accounting firms reached a historic accord with U.S. regulators on Friday, following a lengthy dispute after the firms refused to turn over audit documents in connection with companies being investigated for fraud.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said that the Chinese units of Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG will each pay $500,000 and admit that prior to 2012, they did not produce documents the SEC had requested.

The settlement with the SEC notably does not suspend the firms from practicing as accountants for China-based firms listed in U.S. markets. Previously, an SEC judge had ruled they should face a six-month suspension.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Eric Beech

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