Patrick McCoy, one of KPMG’s top UK advisers quits amid alleged tax scandal
McCoy, former partner at KPMG, and 9 others have been accused of helping wealthy backers of a film finance scheme evade taxes Reuters

Patrick McCoy, one of the top financial advisers in the UK, is among 10 people allegedly charged with tax evasion. Days after being accused, McCoy, the head of investment advice and fiduciary management at KPMG, stepped down from his role.

KPMG, which has been an adviser to the UK Treasury and some of UK's largest businesses, confirmed that one of its former partners had quit the company following an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) into his "personal tax affairs".

A KPMG spokesman added, "The individual concerned is no longer a partner of the firm. It should be stressed that the matter does not relate to client work conducted by the partner or KPMG or to KPMG's own affairs." According to Companies House, McCoy resigned from KPMG on 13 January, just two days after being charged.

McCoy and 9 others – including bankers and financial advisers – have been accused of allowing wealthy backers of a film finance scheme avoid paying millions of pounds in taxes. They have been accused of using a firm called Zeus Partners to avoid tax through a complex scheme that involved investments in film productions.

McCoy's departure followed a recent meeting of the Financial Reporting Council, the accountancy watchdog, which considered launching an investigation into KPMG's role as HBOS' auditor in the run-up to the latter's collapse in 2008.

This is not the first time that KPMG partners are facing allegations over tax scandals. In November 2015, four senior partners in KPMG's Northern Irish business were arrested on suspicion of tax evasion, following a raid by HMRC on the auditor's Belfast office. Pending the result of HMRC's investigation, KPMG placed these four partners, namely, Jon D'Arcy, Eamonn Donaghy, Arthur O'Brien and Paul Holloway on "administrative leave".