8.1 Duration of mandate and term of office of the lead auditor
The auditing mandate for Ernst & Young AG, Berne, ended at the close of the 2019 financial year. For reasons of Corporate Governance and with a view to the introduction of a mandatory rotation principle, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Zurich, were appointed as Group and statutory auditors for the 2020 financial year following the proposal of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting of 26 April 2019.
Rolf Birrer has been the Auditor in charge since 2020.
8.2 Audit fee1
8.3 Additional fees1
of which audit-related services
of which legal services
of which other advisory services
When assigning additional tasks to the external auditors, the Bank ensures that these services are compatible with the activities of the external auditors and do not lead to conflicts of interest.
8.4 Supervisory and control instruments in relation 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 from the external auditors are reviewed at the meetings of the Audit Committee. In 2020, the external auditors were present at all meetings of the Audit Committee in which external audit-related items were on the agenda. In addition, the Auditor-in-Charge was in attendance at the Board of Director’s meeting to present and deal with the Auditor’s Report prescribed under the Banking Act.
Each year, the Audit Committee assesses and evaluates the effectiveness and independence of the external auditors.During this process, it relies 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 issues and technical questions in connection with ﬁnancial-statement reporting and the audit. Furthermore, a systematic annual assessment is made on the basis of checklists and fee comparisons within the auditing segment. Based on this evaluation, a motion is submitted to the Board of Directors for the attention of the Annual General Meeting as regards the election of the external auditors and Group auditors.