02-07-2012
02-07-2012

The Internal Audit function in Banks

On 28 June 2012, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issue a supervisory guidance for assessing the effectiveness of the internal audit function in banks, which forms part of the Committee's ongoing efforts to address bank supervisory issues and enhance supervision through guidance that encourages sound practices within banks. It takes into account developments in supervisory practices and in banking organisations and incorporates lessons drawn from the recent financial crisis.

The document builds on the Committee's Principles for Enhancing Corporate Governance which require banks to have an internal audit function with sufficient authority, stature, independence, resources and access to the board of directors. Independent, competent and qualified internal auditors are central to sound corporate governance.

The document is based on 20 principles, organised in three sections: A) Supervisory expectations relevant to the internal audit function, B) The relationship of the supervisory authority with the internal audit function, and C) Supervisory assessment of the internal audit function. This approach seeks to promote a strong internal audit function within banking organisations. It also encourages bank internal auditors to comply with and to contribute to the development of national and international professional standards and it promotes due consideration of prudential issues in the development of internal audit standards and practices. An annex to the consultative document details responsibilities of a bank's audit committee.

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