13 Mar 2010

'Serious lapses' by Lehman executives, auditors

9:01 am on 13 March 2010

A report on the collapse of the American investment bank Lehman Brothers criticises senior executives and the auditor Ernst and Young for serious lapses that led to the firm's downfall.

The report, which says Lehman was insolvent for weeks before it went bankrupt, accuses management of manipulating balance sheets and using accounting tricks to hide debts.

Investigators appointed by an American court say the bank used misleading accounting to make it appear stronger than it was.

Ernst and Young says its last audit of Lehman was fairly presented according to accounting rules.

The collapse of the 158-year-old investment bank in September 2008, the world's largest bankruptcy, set off a chain reaction around the globe.