Britain’s accounting watchdog The Financial Reporting Council has opened four investigations into the audits by the firm King & King of four companies owned by Mr Sanjeev Gupta under the Liberty Steel banner following calls from MPs for the FRC to refer the auditors for investigation. The Financial Reporting Council has commenced four investigations in relation to the statutory audits by King & King of1. Consolidated financial statements of Liberty Speciality Steels Limited for the year ended 31 March 20192. Financial statements of Alvance British Aluminium Limited, formerly Liberty Aluminium Lochaber, for the year ended 31 March 20193. Financial statements of Liberty Steel Newport Limited for the year ended 31 March 20194. Financial statements of Liberty Performance Steels Limited for the year ended 31 March 2020The decisions were made at a meeting of the FRC’s Conduct Committee on 22 February 2022. The investigations will be conducted by the FRC’s Enforcement Division under the Audit Enforcement Procedure. The Financial Reporting Council however said “This Press Notice concerns the opening of an investigation into the relevant Statutory Auditor(s). The investigation does not relate to any persons other than the relevant Statutory Auditor(s) and it would not be fair to treat any part of this announcement as constituting or evidencing an investigation into any other persons or entities.”A GFG spokesperson said that none of the alliance’s entities or individuals were the subjects of the FRC investigation. He said “We recognise the importance of strong audit practices and have been evolving our corporate structure and governance as we continue our efforts to restructure and refinance our portfolio.”A scathing report by a group of MPs into Gupta and his metals empire released last November last year flagged several areas of concern, including Liberty Steel’s audits. They also called on Gupta to be investigated for potential breaches of his duties as a company director. The MPs on the business select committee said they had found weaknesses in audit, adding that frequent changes of auditors and accounting deadlines represented red flags. The committee’s report found that the small audit firm King & King had a lack of capacity to complete audits effectively.Recently, investigators from the Serious Fraud Office requested documents and questioned executives at the UK offices of companies owned by Mr Gupta. The SFO is investigating suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering in relation to GFG and Greensill Capital. It came after French prosecutors raided the Paris offices of GFG Alliance as part of an investigation into allegations of misuse of corporate assets and money laundering.Liberty Steel has been facing growing troubles since its key financial backer, Greensill Capital, collapsed in March 2021, sparking an ongoing attempt for it to find new lenders. Mr Gupta controls Liberty Steel through GFG Alliance, an informal group of metals and energy companies that employs as many as 35,000 people worldwide, including about 3,000 in UK steel. His main British assets are a series of steel plants under the Liberty Steel name, including large operations at Rotherham and Stocksbridge in South Yorkshire and smaller facilities in Wales and the Midlands, as well as an aluminium smelter in Scotland.Offices of Liberty Steel faced visits from Serious Fraud Office investigators last week as part of a probe into suspected fraud and money laundering by parent firm GFG Alliance.