New York, Washington: Accounting firm Ernst & Young will pay $9.3 million (Dh34.15 million) to settle charges that two of its former auditors got “too close to clients on a personal level” and broke rules aimed at ensuring reviews were impartial, the US Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday. The agency said the two former Ernst & Young partners also settled SEC charges that they lacked independence when auditing the clients’ companies. Another partner and a client’s chief accounting officer also settled SEC charges that they engaged in unprofessional conduct. All agreed to penalties and suspensions from doing any accounting work relating to SEC matters. Neither Ernst & Young nor the individuals charged admitted or denied any wrongdoing in settling the charges, the SEC said.