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SUP 3.4 Auditors' qualifications


SUP 3.4.1GRP

The FSA is concerned to ensure that the auditor of a firm has the necessary skill and experience to audit the business of the firm to which he has been appointed. This section sets out the FSA's rules and guidance aimed at achieving this.


SUP 3.4.2RRP

Before a firm, to which SUP 3.3.2 R applies, appoints an auditor, it must take reasonable steps to ensure that the auditor has the required skill, resources and experience to perform his functions under the regulatory system and that the auditor:

  1. (1)

    is eligible for appointment as an auditor under Part II of the Companies Act 1989 or Part III of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 (Eligibility for appointment) where applicable, otherwise Chapters 1, 2 and 6 of Part 42 of the Companies Act 2006 2; or

  2. (2)

    if appointed under an obligation in another enactment, is eligible for appointment as an auditor under that enactment; or

  3. (3)

    in the case of an overseas firm, is eligible for appointment as an auditor under any applicable equivalent laws of that country or territory.

SUP 3.4.3G
SUP 3.4.4GRP

An auditor which a firm proposes to appoint should have skills, resources and experience commensurate with the nature, scale and complexity of the firm's business and the requirements and standards under the regulatory system to which it is subject. A firm should have regard to whether its proposed auditor has expertise in the relevant requirements and standards (which may involve access to UK expertise) and possesses or has access to appropriate specialist skill, for example actuarial expertise in carrying out audits of insurance companies or friendly societies where appropriate. The firm should seek confirmation of this from the auditor concerned as appropriate.

Disqualified auditors

SUP 3.4.5RRP

A firm must not appoint as auditor a person who is disqualified by the FSA under section 345 of the Act (Disqualification) from acting as an auditor either for that firm or for a relevant class of firm.

SUP 3.4.6GRP

If it appears to the FSA that an auditor of a firm has failed to comply with a duty imposed on him under the Act, it may disqualify him under section 345 of the Act. For more detail about what happens when the disqualification of an auditor is being considered or put into effect, see EG 151. A list of persons who are disqualified by the FSA under section 345 of the Act may be found on the FSA website (


Requests for information on qualifications by the FSA

SUP 3.4.7RRP

A firm must take reasonable steps to ensure that an auditor, which it is planning to appoint or has appointed, provides information to the FSA about the auditor's qualifications, skills, experience and independence in accordance with the reasonable requests of the FSA.

SUP 3.4.8GRP

To enable it to assess the ability of an auditor to audit a firm, the FSA may seek information about the auditor's relevant experience and skill. The FSA will normally seek information by letter from an auditor who has not previously audited any firm. The firm should instruct the auditor to reply fully to the letter (and should not appoint an auditor who does not reply to the FSA). The FSA may also seek further information on a continuing basis from the auditor of a firm (see also the auditor's duty to cooperate under SUP 3.8.2 R).