Large auditing firms face restrictions on offering consulting services and may be forced to share work with smaller rivals under proposals from the European Commission.

Companies that are publicly traded "shall appoint at least two statutory auditors" under the measures, which are designed to improve trust in "the veracity of the financial statement," according to a draft version of the proposals from the European Union's executive arm obtained by Bloomberg News.

"Many of these ideas aren't new but we've never seen proposals that include all of these ideas at the same time," Michael Izza, the chief executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, said in a telephone interview today. "They've been aggregated in one place and that's where you get the big impact."

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