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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 21:49 GMT 22:49 UK
More firms flee Andersen
Three more firms have said they'll look elsewhere
Arthur Andersen, the US accountancy firm at the centre of the Enron bankruptcy scandal, has lost three more companies for which it provided auditing services.

The embattled accounting firm with worldwide operations has lost more than 100 clients since the beginning of the year.

Newell Rubbermaid, a maker of household products and a Fortune 500 company, said on Monday it was appointing Ernst & Young as its auditor.

The company said in a press statement it was making the change "to ensure that Newell Rubbermaid's shareholders continue to have the utmost confidence in the integrity of the company's financial statements".

Newell said during Arthur Andersen's tenure as the company's auditor, it consistently met strict standards of audit service and exhibited the highest levels of professionalism.

More dominoes

Also on Monday, Pacific Capital Bancorp and SPX Corp, a maker of industrial and technical products, said they were reconsidering their decisions in choosing Arthur Andersen as their auditor for 2002.

For its part, SPX said "new developments" had caused it to reconsider its choice of Andersen as its auditor.

Meanwhile Pacific Capital issued a statement that said its "board of directors has rescinded its selection of Arthur Andersen LLP as [the firm's] independent accountants in 2002".

Pacific Capital chief executive William Thomas said the company was satisfied with the quality of the audit work conducted by Arthur Andersen last year.

However, "In light of recent developments involving this firm, our Board has now decided not to reappoint Andersen for 2002," he said.

Pacific Capital is currently seeking a new auditor and hopes to make a new selection in time for its annual meeting on 23 April.

See also:

30 Mar 02 | From Our Own Correspondent
Andersen's angry accountants
29 Mar 02 | Business
Andersen backs rescue plan
27 Mar 02 | Business
Andersen chief steps down
05 Feb 02 | Business
Audit giants called to account
29 Jan 02 | Business
Andersen on the defensive
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