Survey Results: Internal Audit in the Age of COVID-19

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

We’re pleased to share the results of our COVID-19 survey of internal audit functions within financial services.

2020 has forced all financial institutions to face a new reality—a “new normal”, to use an already well-worn phrase. All firms have had to deal with similar business challenges albeit on differing scales. Having seen such drastic changes to how we live and work in this period, Exiger conducted a survey to better understand these challenges and to share best practice on how firms were coping. During this survey we spoke to senior audit leaders at 12 banks and financial institutions (“FIs”) based in the UK, with questions designed to help understand what challenges they had faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown, and what steps they were taking to maintain an effective “third line of defence”. In many ways Internal Audit has transformed into a trusted advisor to the board and executive committees as part of the front-line response to the pandemic, instead of providing critique from the side lines.

Our survey includes frontline feedback and benchmarking on topics including:

  • Top challenges in executing financial crime internal audit programmes in the current environment
  • Changes in financial crime audit plans due to COVID-19
  • Top emerging financial crime risks developing or changing within the business due to the pandemic
  • New actions the business and Internal audit are taking to respond to new risk
  • Working assumptions on the timeline for interruptions
  • Impacts to internal audit budgets
  • Discussions with regulators on the impact of COVID-19 from an audit perspective
  • Board Audit Committee members' reaction to proposed changes or non-changes to audit plans
  • Automation of financial crime audit processes

Click to Read Survey Results


Samar Pratt, Managing Director

Samar Pratt is a Managing Director based in Exiger’s London office, where she is a leader in the firm’s financial crime compliance advisory practice, specialising in audit and assurance.

Since joining Exiger, Samar has served as the Deputy Monitor on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, led independent examinations for the Financial Conduct Authority and New York Federal Reserve Board, and also helped clients to strengthen their financial crime compliance controls across the three lines of defence.

Jason Holt, Managing Director | EMEA Regional Leader

Jason is a Managing Director and the EMEA Regional Leader, based in Exiger’s London office. He brings 25 years’ experience in financial crime compliance (FCC) leadership to Exiger, having managed global and regional FCC functions at some of the largest and most complex financial institutions – including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and BNP Paribas.