The FSA may ask the auditor to attend meetings and to supply it with information about the firm. In complying with SUP 3.8.2 R, the auditor should attend such meetings as the FSA requests and supply it with any information the FSA may reasonably request about the firm to enable the FSA to discharge its functions under the Act.
SUP 3.6.1 R requires a firm to cooperate with its auditor. SUP 3.6.3 G refers to the rights to information which an auditor is granted by the Act. SUP 3.6.4 G refers to similar rights granted by the Companies Act 1985 or where applicable, the Companies Act 2006,2 the Building Societies Act 1986 and the Friendly Societies Act 1992.
Within the legal constraints that apply, the FSA may pass on to an auditor any information which it considers relevant to his function. An auditor is bound by the confidentiality provisions set out in Part XXIII of the Act (Public record, disclosure of information and cooperation) in respect of confidential information he receives from the FSA. An auditor may not pass on such confidential information without lawful authority, for example if an exception applies under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Disclosure of Confidential Information) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/2188) or with the consent of the person from whom that information was received and (if different) to whom the information relates.
Auditors are subject to regulations made by the Treasury under sections 342(5) and 343(5) of the Act (Information given by auditor or actuary to the FSA). Section 343 and the regulations also apply to an auditor of an authorised person in his capacity as an auditor of a person who has close links with the authorised person.3
These regulations oblige auditors to report certain matters to the FSA. Sections 342(3) and 343(3) of the Act provide that an auditor does not contravene any duty by giving information or expressing an opinion to the FSA, if he is acting in good faith and he reasonably believes that the information or opinion is relevant to any functions of the FSA. These provisions continue to have effect after the end of the auditor's term of appointment.
In relation to Lloyd's, an effect of the insurance market direction set out at SUP 3.1.13 D is that sections 342(5) and 343(5) of the Act (Information given by an auditor or actuary to the Authority) apply also to auditors appointed to report on the insurance business of members.3