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UK accounting watchdog to be dismantled, replaced by new regulator

The U.K.'s Financial Reporting Council will be replaced with a stronger accounting regulator, following an independent review that revealed several weaknesses in the FRC's effectiveness.

The new Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority's enhanced powers will include directing changes to accounts rather than having to go to a court to do so, publishing reports into a firm's conduct and management and imposing a wider range of sanctions in cases of corporate failure.

British Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark said the U.K. government will follow the recommendation of the review to replace the FRC with the new watchdog, which was commissioned after British lawmakers accused the FRC of "timidity" and being excessively close to the firms it regulates.

The government is currently seeking views on the recommendations until June 11.

"In line with the consultation document we believe the speedy implementation of the recommendations can help increase public confidence in audit in the U.K.," FRC Chair Win Bischoff said.

The FRC announced in November 2018 that CEO Stephen Haddrill will step down in late 2019.