Audit committee

About

Assisting the Board in discharging its responsibilities for monitoring the integrity of the Group’s financial statements.

The principal purpose of the committee is to assist the Board in discharging its responsibilities for monitoring the integrity of the Group’s financial statements. In addition, we review the adequacy and effectiveness of the Group’s systems of internal control over financial reporting and monitor the effectiveness, performance and objectivity of the internal and external auditors.

The committee comprises independent Non-Executive Directors only and meets at least four times each year.

Membership

Patrick Flynn (Chair) (appointed 16 July 2019)1
Patricia Cross (appointed 01 December 2013)
Belén Romana García (appointed 05 July 2019)
Jim McConville (appointed 01 December 2020)

Chair from 6 November 2019

The following officers normally attend, by invitation, all meetings of the committee:

  • Group chair
  • Group CEO
  • Chief financial officer
  • Chief audit officer
  • Chief financial controller
  • Representatives of external auditor.

Other members of senior management are also invited to attend as appropriate, to present reports.

The Board is satisfied that Patricia Cross, Belen Romana Garcia, Jim McConville and Patrick Flynn each met the requirements to be an audit committee financial expert in 2020. In In addition, the Board is satisfied that Belen Romana Garcia, Patrick Flynn and Jim McConville had recent and relevant financial experience in accordance with the Code and satisfied the requirements for competence in accounting and/or auditing under the Disclosure and Transparency Rules.

Role and responsibilities

The committee acts independently of management, to ensure that the interests of shareholders are properly protected in relation to the financial reporting and the effectiveness of the Group’s systems of internal control over financial reporting.

The main responsibilities of the committee are to assist the Board in discharging its responsibilities for monitoring the:

  • integrity of the Company’s financial statements;
  • adequacy and effectiveness of our systems of internal control over financial controls and whistleblowing provisions; and,
  • effectiveness, performance and objectivity of our internal and external auditors. 

In performing its duties, the committee has access to the services of the Chief Audit Officer, the Group Company Secretary, senior financial management and external professional advisers.

Read the full terms of reference (PDF 58 KB) for our Audit Committee.

2020 activities

A summary of the committee’s activities during 2020 is shown below, full details can be found in the committee’s report in the 2020 Annual Report and Accounts.

  • Recommended to the Board for approval the Quarter 1 update, 2020 half year, Quarter 3 update and full year financial statements

  • Approved the IFRS and SII technical provisions with the 2020 half and full year financial statements

  • Recommended to the Board for approval the SII Solvency and Financial Condition Report

  • Reviewed the effectiveness of the Auditor and was satisfied that the services it provided remained effective, objective and fit for purpose 

  • Agreed to defer the external audit tender by two years

  • Reviewed reports from the Chief Audit Officer

  • Reviewed and approved the Internal Audit Plan

  • Reviewed management’s assessment of the effectiveness of the risk management and control environment