Financial statement audit
While many of the rules of business have changed, the fundamentals haven’t. Meeting investor expectations begins with the completeness, accuracy and fair presentation of information in your financial statements and disclosures. The financial statement audit is key to sustaining confidence in both your company and the financial system at large and must keep pace with a fast-evolving corporate reporting environment.
Risk and regulation
The new era of supervision under ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) raises the bar as banks are required to deliver more information, in tighter timelines and with greater senior management and board involvement. Data integrity and availability is put under the spotlight whilst stress testing continues to evolve as it becomes an ever more important way for supervisors and central banks to identify emerging risks and evaluate adequate capital levels in the banking system.
At the same time, the new era of regulation presents an opportunity to create a more informed basis for risk management to create a more resilient business with a faster and more agile response to emerging threats
Compliance / Internal audit
Banks are impacted by continually evolving local and global Compliance requirements. Compliance officers have a huge task in their hands to follow complex new regulations, manage risks and support management in making strategic decisions.
Today more than ever, Boards are facing ongoing pressure from stakeholders and regulators to mitigate risk yet drive business performance. Internal Audit plays a critical role in providing objective assurance that protects the business against risk and informs strategic decision making.
Strategy & Operational restructuring
Faced with the new economic reality in Cyprus, banks will need to re- focus on their core businesses and reconsider their strategy and expansion plans. How can your organisation take advantage of opportunities for restructuring and growth?
Tax / VAT
The increasing Tax burden is one of the most important concerns of CEOs, driving the adoption of proper internal controls and robust financial reporting processes to satisfy tax authorities, regulators and other stakeholders. At the same time, tax authorities worldwide are concerned with ensuring both increased compliance amongst taxpayers, and that their fiscal policies are not overtaken by global business and economic developments.
In a global environment characterised by the increasing popularity of VAT and other indirect taxes - and complicated by new regulations and capital requirements - it is more critical than ever to manage your indirect taxes with an eye towards minimising VAT costs, optimising cash flow and reducing risk.
Investments & Divestments
Banks are still facing significant challenges as a result of the restructuring of the sector and the macro-economic conditions. Given the lack of a system-wide solution, banks need to assess their strategic options in dealing with the high and rising NPL levels as well as maximising their return from non-core assets. For others, the current conditions may present opportunities for further investment and growth in order to improve shareholders’ returns.
With banks’ capital needs constantly growing given the increased volatility of financial markets and in the wake of new regulations setting stricter capital definitions, banks are required to hold larger amounts of capital to sustain credit availability, absorb losses and demonstrate their financial strength. Regulatory capital remains the dominant capital metric with RWAs being central to the calculation of a bank’s capital ratio. The scarcity of fresh capital drives banks to explore better capital management through tactical actions and strategic decisions.
Digital transformation, technology consulting, cyber security and privacy
Technology has fostered new expectations for how customers should interact with their financial institutions. Mobility, granular insight, self-service, mass customisation and personalised interaction are now basic requirements in our always connected, on-demand world. At the same time, consumption-based models for application platforms and infrastructure require different delivery and support models, putting traditional legacy players at a significant disadvantage when compared with ‘digital native’ newcomers. The financial services market is also changing at extraordinary speed. Digital technology is driving the emergence of new business models. These could make a lot of traditional financial services organisations redundant.
Financial institutions need to be designing right now for a future that is going to look very different. A number of decision makers at leading financial services companies believe that their businesses are at risk of disappearing in the next few years due to changes in business models. The process of redefining business scope and practice now has a life of its own. Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and smart algorithms enable faster decision making in ways that bypass traditional institutions. Peer-based markets enable transactions between individuals safeguarded by rules that ensure compliance, enabled by robotics and fostered by the certainty of much lower costs. Furthermore, Cyber-attacks against Banking Systems are becoming more frequent, more sophisticated and more wide-spread. Critical digital assets are being targeted at an unprecedented rate and the potential impact to banking businesses has never been greater. Given the vital role of IT Systems in promoting stability, the SSM has placed Cyber security in it’s five highest priorities; it is imperative for banks to assess their level of readiness to effectively deal with any possible worst case scenarios.