World Union of Arab Bankers (WUAB), in collaboration with PwC and the Federation of Egyptian Banks, held a workshop entitled “Effective Implementation of COSO Framework in the Banking System” on the 15th and 16th of February 2023 at the Conrad Hotel & Resort in Cairo-Egypt. The event was attended by more than 180 participants from the Egyptian and Arab banking sector, including Board Members, Audit Committee Members, CEO and Executive Management, Financial Reporting Management, Internal Audit Department, Internal Control Department, and Risk and Compliance Managers.
The two-day workshop focused on the practical implementation of the COSO Framework in the banking system. The COSO framework is a widely recognized internal control framework used to assess, design, and implement internal controls within an organization to ensure effective risk management. The workshop aimed to help banks improve their internal control systems, enhance their risk management practices, and meet regulatory requirements.
The workshop was conducted by presenters from PwC who have extensive knowledge and experience in implementing COSO Framework in the banking industry. They discussed various topics related to COSO Framework, including CBE (Central Bank of Egypt) Expectations, Reporting to the Board, External Auditors’ Expectations, COSO – Reflecting on What Banks Have Done So Far, Automation, COSO Scoping, COSO Scoping – Special Considerations, Roles & Responsibilities, and The Documentation Challenge.
During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from each other. The presenters emphasized the importance of a comprehensive risk management system that includes internal controls, policies, and procedures to mitigate risks effectively. They also highlighted the need to integrate technology and automation in the internal control system to improve efficiency and accuracy.
The workshop also emphasized the importance of proper scoping of the COSO Framework to ensure that all risks are identified and addressed effectively. The presenters discussed various factors that should be considered when scoping the COSO Framework, such as the size of the bank, the complexity of its operations, the level of risks involved, and the regulatory requirements.
One of the key takeaways from the workshop was the importance of having clear roles and responsibilities within the bank’s internal control system. The presenters emphasized the need to define roles and responsibilities clearly, assign ownership of risks to specific individuals, and ensure that there is proper communication and coordination between different departments.
The workshop also addressed the documentation challenge, which is a common issue that banks face when implementing the COSO Framework. The presenters discussed various strategies that banks can use to overcome this challenge, such as developing standard templates for documentation, automating the documentation process, and using technology to facilitate the documentation process.
In conclusion, the workshop was a great success, providing valuable insights into the effective implementation of the COSO Framework in the banking system. The collaboration between WUAB, PwC, and FEB proved to be a great initiative in promoting knowledge sharing and best practices in the banking industry. The event’s success also reflected the banking sector’s commitment to improving their internal control systems, enhancing their risk management practices, and meeting regulatory requirements to ensure a safe and sound banking system.
It is worth noting that the World Union of Arab bankers (WUAB) has a larger mission beyond organizing workshops and events such as the COSO Framework workshop. The purpose of the WUAB is to unify Arab bankers under one operating entity to ensure banking literacy in the Arab Banking Community. The union aims to establish links between its members, strengthening their cooperation and serving their mutual interests. By bringing together Arab banks and promoting collaboration, the WUAB seeks to enhance the stability and growth of the Arab banking sector, facilitate knowledge sharing, and promote best practices. The COSO Framework workshop is just one example of the WUAB’s efforts to promote banking literacy and foster cooperation among Arab banks.