Who Audits Bank Holding Companies

Bank holding companies (BHCs) have come under the microscope of regulators in the years following the Great Recession, mainly for their perceived link to the subprime mortgage crisis. Supervised by the Federal Reserve, BHCs with total consolidated assets over $500 million are required to file on a calendar-year basis with the Fed and the US Treasury, disclosing data points such as auditor, assets, revenue, structure, etc. Audit Analytics has long tracked “who-audits-whom” among SEC filers and other market segments, and now, using the data available in these BHC disclosures, we are able to gain new insights into the auditors of the companies in this traditionally shrouded industry.

Taking a look at the auditor market share breakdown for 2015, KPMG and Crowe Horwath audited the largest share of BHCs, each claiming around 13%. Not far behind is BKD with almost 10%. After that, market share quickly becomes more spread out. Many different regional and local firms also audit a great percentage of BHCs. In fact, firms outside of the top 10 in this market segment are responsible for the audits of 31% of companies.nrems

As we’ve seen with other market segments, the Big Four’s market share is much less consolidated here than it is with large public companies. Big Four firms combine for around 28% of the BHC audits. Compare this to the breakdown of Russell 3000 companies, 80% of which are audited by the Big Four.


In terms of auditor changes, Crowe Horwath, BKD, BDO, and RSM are all at the top of the table in bank holding company audit wins in 2015.newtop

Over time we’ll be able to monitor any trends that emerge and continue to monitor the changes of BHC auditor market share and who is auditing whom.