Toronto (June 3, 2004) -- Royal Bank of Canada said it received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to the resignation of its former auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers.


The subpoena related to the audit firm's resignation, the provision of non-audit services and RBC's policies and compliance procedures regarding auditor independence, the company said in a press release announcing its second quarter results. Royal Bank said it is in the process of responding to the subpoena.


Back in September 2003, RBC said PwC resigned as one of the company's auditors because it provided a non-audit service that may have impaired the accounting firm's independence under U.S. rules. PwC provided non-audit services to an RBC subsidiary in July and August of 2003. RBC, whose common shares list on the New York Stock Exchange, said PwC's fees for the engagement were less than C$200,000 ($147,014).


The company noted that PwC wasn't actively working on the assignment when the possibility of impairment was raised and didn't do any further work on the assignment. PwC and RBC agreed that the company wouldn't pay PwC the fees for the work done. RBC hired another firm to redo and complete the work.


Deloitte & Touche LLP, the bank's other audit firm, agreed to complete RBC's 2003 audit. The company noted at that time that PwC's resignation didn't result from any disagreement or unresolved issues between RBC and PwC.


A spokesman for PricewaterhouseCoopers said the firm had no comment on the matter.


-- Melissa Klein Aguilar

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