Accountancy giant KPMG on Thursday said it was looking into a merger of its UK and Swiss divisions to grow profits.

"We have started conversations with our Swiss firm to explore how working more closely together would bring greater benefits to our clients, people and partners," chief executive of KPMG UK, Jon Holt, said in a statement.

"Together, we would grow faster, be more profitable and do so in a sustainable way."

The UK unit employs about 17,000 staff and the Swiss arm more than 2,600.

KPMG rival EY recently failed in a bid to split its audit and consulting units, causing its boss Carmine Di Sibio to retire a year early.

EY last month said Janet Truncale would take over as chief executive from July, becoming the first woman to head the group.