Internal Auditing supports the internal auditing activities within the Raiffeisen Group and supports the Board of Directors and its committees in the performance of their tasks by providing objective and independent assessments of the effectiveness of control and risk management processes. It reviews compliance with requirements set out in laws, regulations and the Articles of Association, as well as the proper functioning of the operational structure, the information flow, accounting and IT. Internal Auditing has unlimited auditing, information and access rights within the Raiffeisen Group. Dr Daniel Dal Santo has been the Head of Internal Auditing since 2015. He reports directly to the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board of Directors and participates in Board of Directors and Audit and Risk Committee meetings (seven meetings of the Board of Directors and five meetings of the Audit and Risk Committee in 2017). Internal Auditing performs its auditing activities in compliance with the rules and standards of the Institute of Internal Auditing Switzerland (IIAS).
Auditor for the purposes of the Swiss Code of Obligations and regulatory auditor
The Raiffeisen General Meeting elects the auditors for the purposes of the Swiss Code of Obligations for three-year terms. PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd has been the regulatory audit company and the auditor for the purposes of the Swiss Code of Obligations of the individual Raiffeisen banks since June 2005. It is supported by Raiffeisen Group's Internal Auditing department when conducting the audits of the Raiffeisen banks required by FINMA under Swiss banking law.
Raiffeisen Switzerland and Group companies
Since the 2007 financial year, PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd has been the regulatory audit company and the auditor for the purposes of the Swiss Code of Obligations for the whole Raiffeisen Group. This includes not only the Raiffeisen banks but also the Group companies pursuant to note 7. The auditor is appointed by the delegates for a term of three years. PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd was elected auditor for the purposes of the Swiss Code of Obligations at the 2015 Delegate Meeting for a period of three years (2015–2017). The rights and obligations are governed by the provisions of the Swiss Code of Obligations.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd, St.Gallen, is also responsible for auditing the consolidated annual financial statements. Beat Rütsche has been the lead auditor for the Raiffeisen Switzerland Cooperative and the consolidated annual financial statements of the Raiffeisen Group since the 2012 financial year. The lead auditor may carry out this mandate for seven years.
The fees of the auditing firms amount to CHF 13 million for services relating to the full audit of the individual annual financial statements, the Group accounts and the audits under Swiss banking law, and CHF 0.5 million for tax advisory and other consulting services.
Information tools available to the regulatory audit company
The risk assessment, the audit plan derived from it, and the auditors' reports are examined by the Audit and Risk Committee and discussed with the lead auditor. In 2017, the lead auditor attended all five meetings of the Audit and Risk Committee to discuss the audit company's reports. Each year, the Audit and Risk Committee also evaluates the risk assessment and resulting audit plan of the auditors and Internal Auditing and discusses these matters in the presence of the lead auditor and the Head of Internal Auditing.
Supervision and control of the external auditor
The auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd fulfils the requirements of the Swiss Federal Banking Act and is licensed by FINMA to audit banking institutions. Each year, the Audit and Risk Committee assesses the performance, remuneration and independence of the external auditor and ensures cooperation with the Internal Auditing department. The Audit and Risk Committee assesses the performance and remuneration of the auditor and verifies its independence based on reports and joint meetings with the lead auditor. In particular, it looks for conflicts between auditing activities and consulting mandates.