The UK’s accounting regulator has launched an investigation into London accounting firm Shipleys over its audit work for the UK-listed holding company of Russian fintech firm Zaim Express.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said today that it has decided to open an investigation into the firm’s audit of Zaim Credit Systems’ 2021 accounts.
The FRC’s investigation comes after the London Stock Exchange suspended trading of shares in Zaim Credit Systems’ last September, following the launch of a separate investigation into the control of its wholly-owned subsidiary Zaim Express.
The UK accounting watchdog said its investigation is solely aimed at Shipleys, as it said the investigation is not into any other “persons or entities” involved.
Zaim Credit Systems and Shipleys LLP were approached by City A.M. for comment on the probe.
Founded in 1936, mid-market accounting firm Shipleys currently has two offices, in the West End of London and in Goldaming, Surrey, and specialises in working with firms in the creative and financial services sectors.
Zaim Credit Systems is the UK-listed holding company of Russian lender Zaim Express, which provides small short-term loans to customers averaging sums of RUB 8,000 (£80).
The fintech currently operates 25 branches in Russia, mainly in densely populated urban areas throughout the country, particularly around Moscow.
The lender also provides loans of up to RUB 30,000 through its own online platform and offers pre-paid cards to customers through a partnership with Mastercard.
In March, Zaim Credit Systems said it is “complying with all UK, US & EU sanctions” targeted towards Russia, which were launched following its invasion of Ukraine.