A common platform firm and a management company5 must, where appropriate and proportionate in view of the nature, scale and complexity of its business and the nature and range of its financial services and activities,5 undertaken in the course of that business, establish and maintain an internal audit function which is separate and independent from the other functions and activities of the firm and which has the following responsibilities:5
to establish, implement and maintain an audit plan to examine and evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of the firm's systems, internal control mechanisms and arrangements;
to issue recommendations based on the result of work carried out in accordance with (1);
to verify compliance with those recommendations;
to report in relation to internal audit matters in accordance with SYSC 4.3.2 R.
Taking account of the nature, scale and complexity of its activities, the firm should have appropriate procedures to ensure that the removal or any other disciplinary sanctioning of the head of the internal audit function does not undermine the independence of the internal audit function.
In the FCA's view, it will be appropriate, in many cases, for the removal or any other disciplinary sanctioning of the head of the internal audit function to require the approval of a majority of the management body, including at least a majority of its members who do not perform any executive function in the firm.
The term 'internal audit function' in SYSC 6.2.1R (and SYSC 4.1.11G) refers to the generally understood concept of internal audit within a firm, that is, the function of assessing adherence to and the effectiveness of internal systems and controls, procedures and policies.6
6For a firm that is not a relevant authorised person, the internal audit function is not a controlled function itself, but is part of the systems and controls function or the PRA's systems and controls controlled function (CF28).