Ukrainian lender PrivatBank has filed a $3bn lawsuit against PwC’s Ukrainian and Cypriot units for alleged audit breaches.

The breaches, which according to the bank were ‘serious and extensive’ in nature, took place between 2013 and 2015.

PrivatBank chairman of the management board Petr Krumphanzl said: “Filing this claim against PwC is a logical and necessary step, in light of the great responsibility PwC had for auditing the bank’s financial statements.

“That firm failed absolutely to identify the ongoing operation of the huge fraud within the bank over many years which resulted in virtually the entire corporate loan book of the bank being non-performing and without any or any adequate security.”

PrivatBank was nationalised in December 2016 to prevent a collapse following risky lending practices that resulted in a $5.6bn capital shortfall.

In December 2017, a London high court froze the assets of the bank’s former owners Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov for misappropriation of funds.

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