The world’s four largest professional services networks, KPMG, PwC, EY, and Deloitte have reportedly cut off business ties with Russia and Belarus, with businesses in the two countries to be legally separated.
KPMG, which has over 4,500 partners and workers in Russia and Belarus, and PwC, which has 3,700, have confirmed that once separated, businesses in the two countries will not be able to use their name or their brands any longer.
In a statement, EY stated Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as shocking and abhorrent, and that the Russian operation will be legally separated from EY.
The firm will also not serve any Russian government clients, state-owned entities, sanctioned enterprises or individuals, which it said had not been decided lightly as the firm has over 4,700 colleagues in Russia who worked side by side with the firm’s global, eastern European as well as Ukrainian colleagues.
Deloitte, the last of the Big Four to announce such a decision, said in a statement that it will be separating its practice in Russia and Belarus from the global network of its member firms, and will no longer operate in the two nations.
It added that it will support all impacted colleagues in Russia and Belarus as it is aware of them having no voice in the actions of their governments and will provide assistance in transitioning during this difficult time.
Companies worldwide have been pushing to work out their exposure to Russia following sanctions by the US, UK, and EU to economically isolate the country. While they have not imposed blanket bans, many firms assessed that their reputational and financial risks would be too much.
Jon Holt, CEO of KPMG UK, stated in a social media post last week that the firm has decided on terminating the contracts it has with individuals or state-controlled entities in Russia, or anyone closely connected with the Russian regime.
PwC also said under the circumstances of Ukraine’s invasion, the firm has decided to not have a member company in Russia, with PwC Russia to leave its network, and will assist its colleagues for a smooth transition.