PEAPACK-GLADSTONE FINANCIAL DISMISSES KPMGPeapack-Gladstone Financial Corp. has dismissed Big Four firm KPMG as its auditor and named Crowe Chizek as its new independent accountant. In a filing, the Gladstone, N.J., bank holding company said that it had no disagreements with KPMG on any matter of accounting principles or practices.

KPMG's audit reports on Peapack-Gladstone's financials for the years ended Dec. 31, 2004 and 2005, did not contain an adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion, and were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles.

Also, KPMG's audit reports on internal controls for the same years did not contain an adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion, and were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles.

ABIOMED RETAINS DELOITTE

Medical products provider Abiomed has engaged Big Four firm Deloitte as its new auditor, replacing PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was dismissed. In a federal filing, Danvers, Mass.-based Abiomed reported no disagreements with its former auditor on any matter of accounting principles or practices, and did not disclose a reason for the auditor change. The dismissal, however, was approved by the company's audit committee.

PwC's reports on the company's financials for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2005 and 2006, contained no adverse opinion or disclaimer of opinion, and were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principle.

FIRSTMERIT JETTISONS PWC

FirstMerit Corp., an Akron, Ohio-based holding company for FirstMerit Bank, dismissed Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers as its independent auditor, and hired Ernst & Young as its successor.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, FirstMerit didn't disclose a reason for the change in auditors, and added that it had no accounting disagreements with PwC.

PwC's engagement with FirstMerit will officially terminate upon completion of its audit on the company's financials for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2006, and the Form 10-K for the year ending Dec. 31, 2006.

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