Audit Commitee

Article 31 of the Internal Rules of the Banco de España lays down that the accounts of the Banco de España shall be audited by independent external auditors in accordance with the provisions of Article 27 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the European Central Bank (ECB)

Also, in accordance with article 32 of the said Internal Rules, the draft annual accounts are examined by a Committee known as the Audit Committee, formed by three members of the Governing Council, designated by the Council, upon proposal of the Governor.

The Chairman of the Audit Committee is designated from among its members by the Governing Council. In case of absence, he is replaced by the member with the longest-standing as member of the Governing Council.

The Committee’s Secretariat shall be held by the General Secretariat of the Bank, through the Deputy General Secretary, who shall act in a participatory but non-voting capacity. The Head of the Institutional Secretariat Division shall substitute the Deputy General Secretary when the post becomes vacant or in the event of absence or illness.

The Audit Committee members have to attend personally the meetings of the Audit Committee, and their attendance cannot be delegated. They shall be substituted by another member of the Governing Council designated by the Council, upon proposal of the Governor, when the post becomes vacant or in the event of absence or prolonged illness of any of the members.

The Audit Committee members shall leave their duties when they lose their condition of member of the Governing Council, by resignation or by motivated agreement of the Governing Council.

In Addition to the examination of the draft annual accounts, the Audit Committee has the following functions:

  • Supervising relations with the external auditors and their work and reports.
  • Supervising the workings of the internal audit and control departments.
  • Preparing the relevant reports for the Governing Council on the annual accounts, the performance of the external audit and the workings of the internal audit and control departments.
  • Taking note of the agreements related to risk management adopted by the Risk Board, and keeping in contact with the latter in those matters related to the Audit Committee object.
  • Having knowledge of the annual accounts of the special-purpose entities of Banco de España, prior to their approval.

The Audit Committee meets as often as is considered necessary to perform its duties, but always no less than three times a year in order to review the annual accounts and the external audit report, both at the preliminary stage, at the development phase and upon completion.

Also, the Audit Committee meets, upon request of its Chairman, as often as deemed necessary to perform its functions, or upon motivated proposal of one of its members.

The Committee shall have a valid quorum when the majority of its members are present.

The Audit Committee adopts its own rules for its workings and for the report to the Governing Council. Decisions shall be made by majority voting and, as the case may be, the President shall have the casting vote.

The Committee may invite the external auditors, and the high-ranking officials or employees responsible for the services and areas related to its competencies, to attend its meetings as deemed appropriate, taking into account their professional specialty and the matters to discuss. Particularly, the Committee may invite the heads of the Internal Audit Department, the Procurement and General Services Department, and the Financial Risk Department to attend its meetings.

The departments of the Banco de España shall provide the Committee and its members with the support and co-operation as may be required.

The Audit Committee shall report six-monthly to the Governing Council on the work it has undertaken, its decisions adopted and any other matter that its Chairman deems it necessary or convenient, where appropriate.

Control by the Spanish Court of Auditors

The Banco de España is subject to external inspection by the Spanish Court of Auditors, in accordance with the provisions of Organic Law 2/1982 of 12 May 1982 concerning the Court of Auditors.

The Governor sends a certified copy of the balance sheet and the accounts for the year, together with the corresponding report, to the Court of Auditors no later than two months after the annual accounts of the Banco de España have been approved by the Government.

Currently, the Audit Committee is composed by the following Council members: Carles Manera, who presides it, Luis Servén and Judith Arnal.