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Henry Staunton

Committee member since 1 May 2004, Chair since 27 April 2005

Dame Clara Furse

Stood down as a Committee member on 2 January 2011

Mike Fairey

Committee member since 1 May 2011

Nick Prettejohn

Committee member since 15 March 2011

James Strachan

Committee member since 23 February 2004, retired 25 May 2011

Sir David Walker

15 February 2011 meeting only, retired 25 May 2011

Julia Wilson

Committee member since 9 November 2011


Membership of the Audit Committee comprises four independent non-executive directors. In accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code and the Committee’s terms of reference, at least one member must have recent and relevant financial experience and competence in accounting or auditing. The Chair of the Committee is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Julia Wilson is the current Group Finance Director of 3i Group Plc and is a member of ICAEW and the Chartered Institute of Taxation.


On appointment to the Board, directors participate in a detailed induction programme which is outlined in more detail in the Induction programme section. This induction covers the role of the Committee, its terms of reference, and current and upcoming material issues to be considered by the Committee. Where a new director joins the Committee, their induction extends to include more detailed briefing sessions with the external auditor and Group Chief Internal Auditor as well as the Group Chief Financial Officer, Group Financial Controller and UK Actuary on topical issues for the Committee, for example, significant areas of accounting judgement for the last financial report, the internal control environment and the relationship with the external auditor.


The Group Chairman, Group Chief Executive, Group Chief Financial Officer, Group Chief Risk Officer, Group Financial Controller, Group Chief Internal Auditor, UK Actuary and representatives of the external auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, regularly attend all Committee meetings, although the Committee reserves the right to request that they withdraw at any time. Business representatives are invited to present individual reports, and the Committee values these opportunities to directly question those closest to the relevant business area.

The Committee met five times during 2011. The areas of focus during 2011 are summarised in the table in the Areas of focus during 2011 section. The Committee holds private meetings with the Group Chief Internal Auditor and representatives of the external auditor at least once during the year. The Committee operates under formal terms of reference and these are reviewed annually. The current terms of reference for the Committee are available on our website.

The Chairman of the Committee reports back to the Board on the outcome of meetings, and the Board receives the minutes of all Committee meetings.


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