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UK regulator to probe big US banks' financial reports

The Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority has commissioned so-called skilled person reports on the quality of financial reporting it receives from some of the biggest banks in the U.S., Sky News reported, citing unnamed city sources.

The move comes after the PRA fined Citigroup Inc.'s U.K. operations £44 million in November 2019 over poor internal controls and governance arrangements that resulted in the group's units submitting incomplete and inaccurate regulatory returns. The Section 166 reviews, which will be carried out by several large accounting firms, were prompted by the regulator's concerns that other major investment banks may have committed similar errors, the sources told the news outlet.

The banks said to be subject to the reports include Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, while the U.K. operations of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Canadian lender Bank of Nova Scotia are also expected to be included in the reviews, the sources said.

The PRA warned major companies in October 2019 that it would consider all possible supervisory responses if it had concerns on the quality of the firms' financial reporting, saying it expected to commission Section 166 reports, Sky News noted.