Ernst & Young AG also performs the function of statutory external auditor within the meaning of Liechtenstein banking law. Philipp de Boer has been the Auditor in charge since 2018.
The auditing mandate for Ernst & Young AG, Berne, will end after 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.
In the 2019 financial year Ernst & Young charged VP Bank Group a total of CHF 1.42 million (previous year: CHF 1.25 million) for services rendered in connection with the statutory audit of the annual financial statements of VP Bank and its Group companies and the audit of VP Bank Group's consolidated financial statements.
In addition, in 2019 Ernst & Young charged CHF 0.022 million (previous year: CHF 0.079 million) for audit-related services and advisory work.
Audit-related control and supervision mechanisms
The Audit Committee checks both the multiple-year audit plans and the scheduled annual audit interventions and discusses these as a separate agenda item with the external auditor in overall charge of the mandate and the head of Group Internal Audit.The Audit Committee attaches particular importance to adopting a risk-based approach to audit planning and execution and to a sensible co-ordination of the activities of the external and internal auditors. All reports drawn up by the external auditors are discussed at meetings of the Audit Committee.
In 2019 the external auditors attended all meetings of the Audit Committee at which agenda items relating to external auditing were discussed. In addition to this, the external auditor in overall charge of the mandate was present at the meeting of the Board of Directors at which the report required by banking law was presented and discussed.
Each year the Audit Committee evaluates and assesses the effectiveness and independence of the external auditors. That assessment is based on the documents drawn up by the external auditors, such as the report required by banking law and management letters, and on oral and written opinions on specific matters and technical issues pertaining to accounting and auditing.
Another review carried out on an annual basis is a systematic evaluation based on check lists and cross-sector comparisons of charges. On the basis of this evaluation a proposal is submitted to the Board of Directors for consideration by the general meeting of shareholders regarding the election of the external auditor and the independent Group auditor.