The UK’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is parting company with PwC, the auditors, apparently over a row over the billionaire’s move to Monaco. A range of business journals – and the widely-known but not so well-read Financial Times – have reported that the chemicals mogul and Ineos founder has decided to move his specialist book-keeping to another Big Four firm, Deloitte.

Known in the UK as the King of Fracking – the controversial and environmentally unfriendly method of extracting oil and gas – Sir Jim moved to Monaco earlier this year with two other Ineos executives who figured out, on their own, that they could save more than four billion euros in taxes.

The fracking Brit is now a Monaco resident and Yacht Club member, while his colleagues and co-owners Andy Currie and John Reece have also reportedly moved to the Principality. Meanwhile, Sir Jim has expressed his interest in fresh air by buying the former Team Sky cycling team and has been in talks with a view to acquiring the Nice Football Club – although talks may have foundered over mineral rights. AS Monaco has already been claimed by another exercise enthusiast, the former potash mining magnate and art collector Dmitri Rybolovlev.

PwC has been trying to gain the high moral ground and sources are claiming that the fracture in relations stemmed from the scale of Sir Jim’s tax avoidance plans.

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PHOTO: A UK tracking protest Friends of the Earth