Global consulting firm EY may spin off its auditing arm. 

EY has confirmed it is looking at splitting off its auditing services amid increasing regulatory scrutiny.

The big four global auditing outfits - EY Deloitte, KPMG and PwC - have been criticised by Australian regulators for compromising their “appearance of independence” by providing non-audit work for audit clients.

The big four argue that maintaining a multidisciplinary model helps deliver better quality audits.

“We routinely evaluate strategic options that may further strengthen EY businesses over the long-term. Any significant changes would only happen in consultation with regulators and after votes by EY partners,” the firm said.

“We are in the early stages of this evaluation, and no decisions have been made.”