In the current regulatory paradigm of the banking industry, Internal Audit should play a leadership role in assisting and ensuring Supervisory and Executive Boards –therefore NED and Executive Directors– that the demanding regulatory landscape that impacting banks’ business models, as well as the risk function –notably Risk and Compliance, as well as IFRS 9 requirements– perform their duties within a robust risk and internal control frameworks, on the top of the responsibilities Internal Audit always had within their scope of activities.
This objective becomes particularly challenging for Internal Audit, as the attention of Boards –both Supervisory and Executive– are very focused on issues resulting from new regulatory challenges -notably IFRS 9 and IFRS 15- in the Risk and Compliance areas, as well capital and liquidity impacting their business model. Additionally, the pressure on costs and the need to increase the headcount in Risk and Compliance functions is restricting the minimum headcount requirements of Internal Audit, the need for more demanding skills of internal auditors in areas that were not of concern in the previous paradigm, being Internal Audit often relegated to a secondary plan.
As the business model of banks develop and the regulatory framework becomes more demanding, it is critical for Internal Audit to achieve perform their duties that their Leaders learn, understand, and include in their audit plans the challenges above, redesign the strategy and tactics of Internal Audit role, develop internal auditors skills to fit the new paradigm and business models, prepare a robust narrative to discuss with boards, and assisting and ensure Supervisory and Executive Boards that the 4 Lines-of-Defence are operating efficiently and effectively.
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