Group Internal Audit (GIA) performs the internal auditing function for the Group (including UBS AG, where it is referred to as Internal Audit) and in 2016 operated with an approved headcount of 365 personnel. It is an independent and objective function that supports the Group in achieving its strategic, operational, financial and compliance objectives, and the BoD in discharging its governance responsibilities. GIA provides assurance by assessing the reliability of financial and operational information, effectiveness of processes for compliance with legal, regulatory and statutory requirements. Audit reports that include significant issues are provided to the Group CEO, relevant GEB members and other responsible management. The Chairman, Audit Committee and Risk Committee of the BoD are also regularly informed of such issues.
In addition, GIA assures whether issues with moderate to significant impact have been successfully remediated. This responsibility applies to issues identified by all sources: business management (first line of defense), control functions (second line of defense), GIA (third line of defense), external auditors and regulators. GIA also cooperates closely with risk control functions and internal and external legal advisors on investigations into major control issues.
To maximize GIA’s independence from management, the Head of GIA reports to the Chairman of the BoD and to the Audit Committee, which assesses annually whether GIA has sufficient resources to perform its function, as well as its independence and performance. GIA’s role, position, responsibilities and accountability are set out in our Organization Regulations and the Charter for Group Internal Audit, published at www.ubs.com/governance. The latter also applies to UBS AG’s internal audit function. GIA has unrestricted access to all accounts, books, records, systems, premises and personnel, and must be provided with all information and data that it needs to fulfill its auditing duties. The Audit Committee may order special audits to be conducted, and other BoD members, committees or the Group CEO may request such audits in consultation with the Audit Committee.
GIA enhances the efficiency of its work through coordination and close cooperation with the external auditors.