A. PROCEDURE FOR APPOINTMENT OF STATUTORY BRANCH AUDITORS IN PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS
1. The norms for selection of branches of PSBs for statutory audit from the year 2015-16 and onwards will be based on the following:
2. The following procedure will be followed for appointment of Statutory Branch Auditors (SBAs) in Public Sector Banks (PSBs):
3. SBAs will have a maximum tenure of four years. The appointment of SBAs will be made on an annual basis, subject to their fulfilling the eligibility norms prescribed by RBI from time to time and also subject to their suitability.
4. The number of eligible auditors / audit firms is more than the number of branches to be audited at the following 33 centres (viz. Mumbai, Kolhapur, Pune, Solapur, Thane, Kolkata, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi/ New Delhi, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Kota, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Raipur, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Panchkula, Panipat, Sonipat, Bangalore, Ernakulam, Indore, Nagpur, Ludhiana, Jodhpur, Bhilwara, and Ghaziabad). In such centres, the auditors/ audit firms will be put to a period of compulsory rest for two years after completion of four years of continuous branch audit. In other centres, where the number of eligible auditors / audit firms is less than the number of branches to be audited, the branch auditors on completion of four years of continuous branch audit will be subjected to the policy of rotation.
5. While allotting branches, banks are required to select auditors/audit firms which are in close proximity to their offices/branches. Banks are also required to have a suitable mix of various categories of auditors / audit firms while selecting the branch auditors keeping in view the size of the branches to be audited.
6. As regards statutory branch audit to be carried out by SCAs, banks will allot the top 20 branches(to be selected strictly in order of the level of outstanding advances) in such a manner as to cover a minimum of 15% of total gross advances of the bank by SCAs.
B. Norms for the empanelment of audit firms to be appointed as statutory branch auditors for Public Sector Banks (2015-16)
|Category||No. of CAs exclusively associated with the firm
|No. of partners exclusively associated with the firm
(full time) (Out of 2)
|Bank audit experience||Standing of the audit firm|
|I.||5||3||8||The firm or at least one of the partners should have a minimum of 8 years experience of branch audit of a nationalised bank and/ or of a private sector bank.||8 years|
|II.||3||2||6||The firm or at least one of the partners should have preferably conducted branch audit of a nationalised bank or of a private sector bank for at least 5 years.||6 years
(for the firm or at least one partner)
|III.||2||1||4||The firm or at least one of the CAs should have preferably conducted branch audit of a nationalised bank or of a private sector bank for at least 3 years||5 years
(for the firm or at least one partner)
|IV.||2||2||2||Not necessary||3 years|
|Even proprietorship concern without bank audit experience may be considered as hitherto.
(The proprietary concerns of Chartered Accountants with 1 paid CA, 2 professional staff and not having any statutory branch audit experience of a nationalised bank or of a private sector bank will be treated at par with the partnership firm after deducting their 3 years seniority from the date of their establishment).
C. General Guidelines applicable to SBAs
(i) All PSBs are required to have a Board approved policy for appointment of statutory auditors and the same may be hosted on the bank’s web-site. Banks are also required to ensure that the policy framed by the Board in the matter of selection of auditors/audit firms for appointment of auditors is strictly adhered to. Further, the list of firms selected for appointment as statutory branch auditors may be placed before the ACB/Board of bank before for its concurrence before it is forwarded to RBI for final approval.
(ii) The policy of one audit firm for one PSB will be continued. Accordingly an audit firm will be eligible to be appointed as a central/branch auditor of only one PSB during a particular year.
(iii) In order to protect the independence of the auditors/audit firms, banks will have to make the appointments of branch auditors for a continuous period of four years subject to the firms satisfying the eligibility norms each year. Banks cannot remove the audit firms during the above period without the prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India.