8.1 Duration of mandate and term of office of the lead auditor
Ernst & Young Ltd, Berne, has acted as auditor of VP Bank since 1956 (in accordance with PCA) and since 1994 as Group auditor of VP Bank Group. In addition, Ernst & Young Ltd undertakes the mandate as Banking-Law auditor within the meaning of the Liechtenstein Banking Act (BankA Art. 37 ff). The Auditor-in-Charge, Bruno Patusi, has been responsible for the VP Bank mandate since 2014 (annual general meeting of 25 April 2014).
8.2 Audit fee
In 2016, Ernst & Young Ltd, Berne, charged VP Bank Group fees in the amount of CHF 1.45 million (previous year: CHF 1.83 million) for services rendered in connection with the legally prescribed audits of the annual ﬁnancial statements of VP Bank and the Group subsidiaries, as well as the audit of the consolidated ﬁnancial statements of VP Bank Group.
8.3 Additional fees
Ernst & Young Ltd also rendered auditing-related services to VP Bank in the amount of CHF 0.21 million (previous year: CHF 0.16 million).
8.4 Supervisory and control instruments pertaining to the external audit
The Audit Committee reviews the multi-year audit planning as well as the planned annual auditing activities and, in a speciﬁc agenda item, discusses these with the Auditor-in-Charge from the external auditing ﬁrm as well as the Head of Group Internal Audit. The Audit Committee attaches particular importance to a risk-oriented approach in the planning and conduct of the audit, as well as appropriate coordination of the auditing activities of the external auditors with those of Internal Audit.
All reports by the external auditors are reviewed at meetings of the Audit Committee. In 2016, the external auditors were present at all meetings of the Audit Management Committee in which external audit-related items were on the agenda. In addition, the Auditor-in-Charge was in attendance at a Board of Director’s meeting to present and discuss the Auditors’ Report prescribed under the Banking Act.
Each year, the Audit Committee examines and evaluates the effectiveness and independence of the external auditors. In doing so, it bases itself on documents generated by the external auditors, such as the Auditors’ Report prescribed under the Banking Act, management letters, as well as oral and written statements of position on individual aspects and technical questions in connection with ﬁnancial-statement reporting and the audit. In addition, a systematic annual assessment is made on the basis of checklists and fee comparisons within the auditing sector. Based on this evaluation, a proposal is submitted to the Board of Directors for the attention of the annual general meeting with regard to the election of the external auditors and Group auditors.