ICAEW has today published its framework for assuring bank capital numbers. Drawn up in consultation with banks, auditors and regulators, the framework is designed to be applicable to all regulatory ratios, including capital, liquidity and leverage. The framework aims to help deliver confidence in the key measures of resilience for banks.

Iain Coke, head of ICAEW’s Financial Services Faculty, said: “Capital ratios are one of the most important ways to assess a bank’s stability, but they are not audited. It is absolutely crucial that people can have confidence in them. This is why the Prudential Regulatory Authority asked us in 2014 to look at how independent assurance could deliver that confidence. Today’s publication represents culmination of that project. Using this framework would mean the public, regulators and banks themselves can have more trust in these numbers.”

Following stakeholder feedback on the original discussion paper, the framework is designed to be modular, to allow users to tailor the scope of assurance work to meet their particular needs, and so it can be used by internal as well as external auditors. Although designed for banks, the guidance could also be applied to other businesses facing prudential regulation such as investment firms.

Iain said: “We met a number of stakeholders who told us that assurance could be used in a variety of ways. So this framework sets out some overarching principles for providing assurance in a robust way, while allowing flexibility to apply it to most risk types, whether that is operational risk, credit risk or liquidity risk. Also, while this project started in the UK, we examined the approaches to assurance on regulatory ratios in different international jurisdictions and designed the framework so that it can be applied worldwide. 

Banking regulatory ratios: ICAEW assurance framework can be found here http://www.icaew.com/en/technical/financial-services/inspiring-confidence-in-financial-services/banking-regulatory-ratios

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