Serious Fraud Office is ‘liaising with regulators’ over the situation

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Insurance outsourcer Quindell could be investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over its accounting practices and share-price movements in the past two years, The Express reports.

The paper said the SFO’s enquiries are at an early stage, and Insurance Times understands that the SFO is monitoring the situation.

An SFO spokeswoman told Insurance Times: “We are liaising with regulators over the matter,” but declined to comment further.

A Quindell spokesman declined to comment.

Last week Quindell revealed that it was being investigated by the FCA over the financial reports it had published for the full 2013 year and the first half of 2014.

The outsourcer suspended trading in its shares on the London Stock Exchange’s alternative Investment Market last week until its full-year 2014 accounts are published.

This morning, Quindell announced that it had delayed publication of its 2014 results because of the complexity involved in preparing them.

They were originally intended to be published on 30 June.

The share suspension and the FCA investigation follow a review by accounting firm PwC, which found that the way Quindell recognised revenue and deferred certain acquisition costs was “largely acceptable” but “at the aggressive end of acceptable practice”.

The review also found certain of Quindell’s accounting policies were not appropriate, mainly those relating to revenue from to noise-induced hearing loss cases and related balances in Quindell’s Professional Services Division.