Nearly 300 guests from the internal audit profession attended the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors' Annual Dinner at the Guildhall in the City of London last night and heard guest of honour Douglas Flint, CBE, Chairman of HSBC Holdings give his views on the changing nature of the banking sector.
Flint observed that mentions of culture in reports analysing banking failures such as RBS and HBOS had significantly increased and the recently published Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards' report concentrated on culture. This marked an important shift in emphasis from policy makers he said, because "if we are to improve the sustainability of the financial system and demonstrate its overwhelming social value it will be because we have changed behaviour." Flint pointed to the need for greater assurance on culture and behaviour and on assessing the "tone from top" and praised the fact that enhancing internal audit's role and influence featured amongst the major conclusions of such a high level report as the Banking Standards Commission's. He concluded by acknowledging the importance and value of the work the Institute is doing to develop the internal audit profession in financial services.
Earlier in the evening, top students Joanne Clewes and Alexis Stirling were presented with certificates for achieving the highest marks in their internal audit diploma and advanced diploma exams respectively.
Helen Higgs, from the Institute's Wales Region picked up the Special Award for volunteer achievement and the JJ Morris Award for lifelong contribution to the profession was made to Phil Tarling, Chairman of the Global Board of the IIA.