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How UAE Banking Sector Can Improve Internal Audit Compliance

In this series, audit firms in Dubai discuss the foundations for internal audits by industry. It also includes basic definitions and concepts that relate to auditors in particular sectors.

Bank Internal Audit Programs

Internal audits of banks assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the bank's processes, policies, and internal control systems. Effective risk management requires properly designed internal audit programs in Dubai and UAE. They provide critical information for the board and senior management to verify the effectiveness of bank internal control. The internal control system includes internal controls as well as information systems.

Checklist for Banking Internal Control

The internal audit function should be conducted in coordination with all stakeholders. Assess the effectiveness, reliability, and adequacy of the internal controls that support the safety and soundness of the institution. The audit teams should ensure that internal controls are effective in recording transactions accurately and promptly, and properly protecting assets.

Examine the bank's compliance with laws and regulations. Also, determine whether the bank follows established policies, procedures, and processes. Assess whether management is taking the appropriate and timely steps to correct control deficiencies and implement recommendations in the audit report. The internal audit team must ensure that audits are conducted by competent personnel.

Banking Compliance

Bank compliance risk refers to the risk to the bank's current or future financial condition and resilience that results from a violation of laws or regulations or non-compliance with prescribed standards and ethics. Banks could face increased penalties or lose their reputation if they fail to comply with safety standards and legal requirements. 

Banking Compliance Regulations

All financial institutions that offer loan services in Dubai and UAE, investment advice, or insurance share their information with customers. Customers could also opt out.

GDPR Compliance

The General Data Protection Regulation applies to all Dubai, UAE organizations, banks, and financial institutions that collect or process the personal data of UAE residents. For many organizations, it has taken cooperation across the 3 Lines of Defense to comply with the GDPR.

Read More : Guidelines to Evade Internal Audit Blunders.

SOX Compliance

Dubai, UAE companies to establish financial reporting and internal controls in order to ensure that those controls are adequate. Senior corporate officers must also certify that financial statements are compliant with SOX requirements.

Compliance with FDICIA

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Improvement Act, requires banks in Dubai, UAE to disclose their financial data. This includes disclosing savings account interest rates and any other information that may be required by the FDIC. Additional requirements are imposed by FDICIA on banks and financial institutions based on their consolidated total assets. This includes intensive financial audits as well as annual reporting requirements.

Banking Compliance Certification

Businesses can gain certification of compliance with security frameworks like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF). This is a way to build trust with customers and to formally prove compliance with a security framework. Although compliance can seem like a burden, it is important to get certified. This will help UAE entities avoid penalties and fines as well as the reputational risk of negligence 

Management of the bank's internal controls and compliance program via spreadsheets, email, or shared drives can present a variety of risks and challenges. From losing track of an audit piece to an unresolved compliance gap to losing control of the evidence required for an audit, there are many potential problems and risks. Not only can inefficiencies be caused by manual compliance programs and internal controls, but so can inefficiencies.

  • Neglecting to comply with a compliance obligation is a violation of the minimum standards.
  • Neglecting to pay fines, damages, and legal fees.
  • Negligence can have a negative impact on the reputation of the company and/or its financial health.

Leveraging Technology to Streamline Compliance and Internal Controls in Banks

It is essential to create a foundation for your internal audit compliance program that can be sustained in order to avoid negligence-related risks. It is crucial for certified internal audits in Dubai teams to identify the right environment for your compliance program and internal controls. Although a simple home-grown system of shared drives, spreadsheets, and/or access databases may seem adequate, it can quickly become inflexible as your internal controls and compliance data change. A purpose-built software solution for governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) can help you:

  • Companies can easily scope the requirements for any certification.
  • Entities can centralize compliance data and see it across all controls. This will allow you to identify which frameworks and requirements they correspond to.
  • Minimize daily tasks by streamlining compliance activities across multiple frameworks.
  • Firms can quickly update demands and adopt new compliance frameworks, without having to lose centralization or affect existing testing schedules.
  • Automated readiness assessment surveys can be used to facilitate certification readiness.
  • Third-party auditors can be empowered to participate in the certification process through a central platform that contains all relevant data.

Best Practices for Centralizing and Automating Your Bank Audit and Compliance Program

  • Strong internal controls should be established in your bank.
  • Bank compliance can be approached holistically as opposed to the traditional, check-the-box audit approach.
  • Encourage regular, consistent coordination and communication between compliance and audit functions.
  • Use technology to automate and centralize audit and compliance tasks.

Streamline Your Internal Audit Function With The Best Audit Firms in Dubai.

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Read More : Understanding IT Internal Audit and Its Importance for Dubai UAE Entities.

Ervee is a CPA with international experience in Tax and Accounting. He has over 12 years of experience in accounting and bookkeeping and over a year in VAT implementation, registration, and accounting in UAE. He regularly drives out inefficiencies in company operations and loves the challenge of helping clients find additional ways for an easier and improved compliance and verification of transactions.