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
Jim McConville (appointed 01 December 2020)
Martin Strobel (appointed 01 November 2021)
Shonaid Jemmett-Page (appointed 14 February 2022)
Andrea Blance (appointed 21 February 2022)

1 Chair from 06 November 2019.

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

  • Group Chair
  • Group CEO
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Audit Officer
  • 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, Marin Strobel, Jim McConville and Patrick Flynn each met the requirements to be an audit committee financial expert in 2021. In In addition, the Board is satisfied that Belen Romana Garcia, Martin Strobel, 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 121 KB) for our Audit Committee

2021 activities

A summary of the committee’s activities during 2021 is shown below, full details can be found in the committee’s report in the 2021 Annual Report and Accounts.

  • Recommended to the Board for approval the Quarter 1 trading update, 2021 half year interim report, Quarter 3 trading update and full year financial statements

  • Approved the IFRS and SII technical provisions with the 2021 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 

  • Undertook the external audit tender process and made a recommendation to the Board to appoint EY for the financial year ending 31 December 2024

  • 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.