The UK Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (CIIA UK) has released guidance on how financial institutions in the UK should manage risks in an updated edition of the Guidance on Effective Internal Audit in Financial Services, widely known as the Financial Services Code.
Q&A: Code on managing risk in UK financial services revamp – CIIA UK policy and external relations director Alisdair McIntosh discusses the changes to the code and how it aims to strengthen the internal audit function within companies.
The updated guidance builds on the original code which was published in July 2013 in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. The review of the code was initiated by the CIIA and conducted by an independent committee of senior industry members, chaired by Mike Ashley, chair of the audit committee of Barclays and involved two rounds of consultation with the sector between September 2016 and March 2017.
The key changes to the code include the following requirements:
- Internal audit reporting annually on whether firms are adhering to their risk management framework.
- Internal audit reviewing actions taken by the firm following any significant adverse event, such as regulatory breaches.
- Internal audit plans must be regularly reviewed taking into account new and emerging risks.
- Looking critically at the work of the organisations other control functions in terms of processes and quality.
- Underlining the central role internal audit should play in assessing the culture of the firm, including whether behaviours are in line with stated values, ethics, risk appetite and policies.
- Audit committees must discuss objectivity and independence of its chief internal auditors annually after seven years in the role.
CIIA chief executive, Ian Peters, said: “The enhanced Code should help ensure that internal auditors can play their full part in effectively protecting the assets, reputation and sustainability of their organisations. Internal auditors now need to drive these changes forward. They should demand, and get, stronger backing from audit committees and board. Boards, in turn, should expect and demand more from internal audit departments.”