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Editorial

Dear valued readers,

Today we speak with our Guest editor Polya Statkova, Head of Internal Audit Department who will tell us more what does auditing means and why the internal audit function has vital and prominent role for our organisation. We shall Meet& Greet the females part of the TBI Bank Audit team who will give us a better understanding of what are the usual steps of each audit process, share some good reasons why we should not afraid of the audit process and how we can contribute to it, give us more clarity on how the audit helps us, what follows after the audit is performed and for the most curious of us – who audits the Audit team.

We will share you more on how 4finance further enhances corporate governance framework and what was discussed on the recent Town Hall meeting with direct broadcast to all 17 countries of 4finance. You’ll know more on how we continue to walk the talk of our digital transformation, this time in the media.

Our ‘Be active’ internal campaign on healthy and active lifestyle has a challenge for you – take it, and let us know how you feel after this change!

Desislava Mihova,
Internal Communication manager

Guest Editor’s Corner

The Internal audit function is both known and unknown at the same time.

How much familiar you are with it, depends on to what extend you’ve had interacted with it. For those that are not that much familiar, let’s explain that the audit reviews the working processes and assesses if  they are set in manner that ensures efficiency in business operating and meanwhile controls if the bank is compliant with legislation and generally protect the bank from losses.

It may sound a bit pretentious and I suppose boring, but actually the internal audit is very practical because it provides advice for strengthening internal controls and proactively promotes best practices by addressing the existing main weaknesses in the business areas to the management body and asking for prompt remedial actions. The internal audit function has a vital and prominent role giving assurance to the top level management that the overall governance framework, including the risk governance and internal control framework, is effective…

Guest Editor’s Corner

The Internal audit function is both known and unknown at the same time.

How much familiar you are with it, depends on to what extend you’ve had interacted with it. For those that are not that much familiar, let’s explain that the audit reviews the working processes and assesses if  they are set in manner that ensures efficiency in business operating and meanwhile controls if the bank is compliant with legislation and generally protect the bank from losses.

It may sound a bit pretentious and I suppose boring, but actually the internal audit is very practical because it provides advice for strengthening internal controls and proactively promotes best practices by addressing the existing main weaknesses in the business areas to the management body and asking for prompt remedial actions.

The internal audit function has a vital and prominent role giving assurance to the top level management that the overall governance framework, including the risk governance and internal control framework, is effective.

You may ask “Are you doing just auditing”? Let’s try and put “just auditing” into perspective.  In short, to do internal auditing, you will go into a complex area that you may know nothing about, learn the area in a quick time frame to make meaningful recommendations to operations managers who have devoted their entire careers to that area. Now this is the new definition of “just auditing.”

Polya Statkova,

Head of Internal Audit Department

Polya Statkova,
Head of Internal Audit Department

TOP FLOOR

4finance further enhances corporate governance framework

4 October 2017. 4finance Group S.A. announced the appointment of a new Chairman as well as changes to the committee structure of its Supervisory Board. Lado Gurgenidze has been appointed as Chairman of the Group’s Supervisory Board, taking over from Nick Jordan. Nick remains a board member and has agreed to chair the Asset & Liability Committee – one of two new Supervisory Board committees established this month.

Lado Gurgenidze, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, commented:
“The additional oversight responsibilities brought by these changes reflect what is expected of a worldclass financial institution, which we aspire to be. The Supervisory Board will work hard to provide the right support, guidance and strategic oversight to the company as we aim to take 4finance to the next level.”

Mark Ruddock, CEO of 4finance commented:
“The establishment of a world-class corporate governance framework, and the strengthening of the role of our Supervisory Board are important elements in laying the foundation for the future of 4finance. Lado’s contribution in developing this has been very welcome.”

A town hall meeting followed on the 5th October at 4finance headquarters with direct broadcast to all 17 countries. Mark Ruddock made a company update for the last 90 days since he took over the CEO position. He presented the new Mission, Vision and Strategy of the Group. He also spoke about the target operating model, put the 6 month focus. The key global functions also presented their short term priorities. Our main challenges will be to
• Restlessly triage and identify quick wins
• Prioritize, focus and execute
• Leverage internal experience and best practices
• Increse speed and responsiveness

TBI Bank was presented by our CEO of TBIF Financial Services, Petr Baron who made an overview of our current projects and initiatives, as well as future plans and priorities.

“Today Mark shared further plans of our Group, TBI Bank will be playing pivotal role, we all have to be up to the challenges. Systems, products, data have to be on world class level. Our existing lending at our core will still be, just more as a plug in service. Strengthened by own distribution.We, unlike many companies are offered a great chance to move into adjacent space in our industry amongst the first few other movers, whilst not forgetting to keep focus on our successful business.” Petr Baron commented.

Learn more HERE.

MEET & GREET

Who audits the Audit

Today we speak with the females part of the TBI Bank Audit team – Poli, Lili and Irena. They will give us a better understanding of what are the usual steps of each audit process, give us some good reasons why we should not afraid of the audit process and how we can contribute to it, give us more clarity on how the audit helps us, what follows after the audit is performed and for the most curious of us – who audits the Audit team.

How does audit process usually goes and what does it include?

We send announcement to the concerned units (office network is excluded)  with invitation for initial meeting and request for related documents and data to start the audit review.

For better understanding of the audited process, we perform interviews with the key participants. Then during the so called “testing”  phase,  through different techniques the activity is analyzed and assessed if it meets the established regulations and if the regulations are sufficient and effective enough. Based on the results, the audit may formulate observations, if any, and discusses them with the auditees. A draft audit report is developed and communicated to the auditees to get their response for corrective measures and deadlines and thus finalizes the report. The final audit report is submitted to the Management Board for acknowledgement and afterwards distributed to the auditees…

MEET & GREET

Who audits the Audit

Today we speak with the females part of the TBI Bank Audit team – Poli, Lili and Irena. They will give us a better understanding of what are the usual steps of each audit process, give us some good reasons why we should not afraid of the audit process and how we can contribute to it, give us more clarity on how the audit helps us, what follows after the audit is performed and for the most curious of us – who audits the Audit team.

How does audit process usually goes and what does it include?

We send announcement to the concerned units (office network is excluded)  with invitation for initial meeting and request for related documents and data to start the audit review.

For better understanding of the audited process, we perform interviews with the key participants. Then during the so called “testing”  phase,  through different techniques the activity is analyzed and assessed if it meets the established regulations and if the regulations are sufficient and effective enough. Based on the results, the audit may formulate observations, if any, and discusses them with the auditees. A draft audit report is developed and communicated to the auditees to get their response for corrective measures and deadlines and thus finalizes the report. The final audit report is submitted to the Management Board for acknowledgement and afterwards distributed to the auditees.

Should we be afraid of the audit ‘monster’?

Audit time is crunch time and a time naturally filled with a magnitude of mixed feelings and often heightened emotions. There is very few things that can turn the business world so far upside down such as a good old audit. This need not be the case. We would like to give you a few useful tips on how to ‘kill’ the audit monster, how we should behave and support the smooth process

1.Remember, the auditors and you, the auditee, both work for the same organization and have same goal – better business results. The audit is not intended do harm your business or you, to blame you personally, but to tell you where you are not doing well and thus to protect you, because at the end of the day we all have job responsibilities and would be taken liable when something goes really bad. So we are same team players.

2. Be cooperative and collaborative – prompt response on documentation supply and answering queries helps us to do our job quicker and not spend much of your time. The audit always respects your business work and time and believes this is a mutual understanding.

3. Be proactive – if you think something is wrong or just feel uncertain in what you do, but for some reason you are not sure to share this with superiors, feel free to discuss it with us and let’s find the reason and the solution together.

Audit can help you also if there is a rule or where to find the rule or procedure or who would the good source of advice in respect to your question.

What’s the audit follow-up? What should we expect and what we should do after the audit?

Your commitments and deadlines on audit recommendations in the report are monitored and progress is periodically requested. However once you think your measures are in place, please communicate this to us. Here we would like to emphasize that deadline for completion is something that you decide, but they have to be absolutely realistic considering the priorities of other tasks and to be fully respected.

Who audits the Audit Department?

We are also subject to audits and we also answer questions same as you do. Internal audit departments are major contributors to the effectiveness of governance, risk management, and internal control processes, but they need to focus on the areas of highest risk, perform their services effectively, and clearly communicate the results of their work. An external review of the internal audit function validates the quality of the unit and ensures a clear alignment of expectations. Same applies for us. We are audited by BNB and statutory auditors and regularly our work is reported and discussed at the Audit Committee of the bank which consists of external members for the bank. They are assessing the coverage and quality of the Internal Audit Function.

We are happy to answer your questions as well,  if you have such, write us back to PStatkova@tbibank.bg

 

IN FOCUS

TBI Bank in the media: Andreas Down to lead TBI Bank’s digital transformation 

We continue the talk about our digital transformation that we have recently started with our CIO - Andreas Down. This time we walk the talk in the media. Our German IT guru shares in the media, both in Bulgaria and Romania, how TBI bank develops its digital strategy and creates a culture of continuous digital improvement in a transparent and regulated environment.

“Customers want to control their financial needs at any time and on any device, while the use of big data changed the way we understand and predict their behavior. Digital transformation will help TBI Bank earn the right to be on its customer’s devices. I am thrilled by the opportunity to lead this process”, Andreas shared.

We have selected for you the best publications of Andy’s article from the Bulgarian and Romanian media. To read the article in English, please visit our website.

INSIDER

Banking services, part of the free Internet browsing

October 2, 2017. How digitalization is transforming the traditional financial services, was discussed by leading experts from the banking and non-banking financial sector in Bulgaria during the "Finance in the Digital World" annual conference, organized by BANKER newspaper. Our representative to the conference was the  Chairman of the Management Board ,Valentin Galabov, who invited as a guest speaker. Mr. Galabov presented the strategy that we are developing in order to become a next-generation digital lender.

"Good management should not only meet consumers’ needs but should also create new ones. Digitalization will change the financial lives of our customers", Galabov said. He stressed the fact that 40% of people in Central and Eastern Europe cannot get bank financing since they do not meet the set requirements. According to Mr. Galabov, this requirements are outdated, as well as the used risk management models. "Banks are becoming digital lenders," he explained and pointed that a systemic approach should be applied to the digitization of the banking and financial services. This requires the transformation of all systems within a bank, as well as a new way of thinking. Banks should take into consideration the fact that the future is a person with a mobile phone in his hand. Therefore, they should meet the needs for good connectivity and an easy to operate model, which will give the opportunity to track the status and the activity of their account. At TBI Bank we aim to put  the digitalization at the core of our customer relationship through the development and provision of quick and simplified digital financial products and online based services.

FOR YOU

Challenge: “Change Happens One Step at a Time -  Use Stairs not Elevator!

If you think you don’t have time to take the stairs, think again. Your health is your choice. According to our internal study last week, those who take the stairs actually save time out of their days, when compared with those who ride the elevator - while elevator goers are waiting for a lift, those who opt for the stairs are already well on their way to their destination.

Top 5 excuses that we got from our interviewed colleagues ( elevator’s fans)

Stairs take too long... Standing on escalators, waiting for lifts, the stopping and starting, means there isn’t much of a difference in time. In addition, the valuable minutes of exercise you’re sneaking in mean less of your spare time needs to be set aside for fitness.
'Oh, I’m too tired'... you’ll be surprised at how the movement will wake you up from sitting-induced sleepiness. Small bursts of physical activity that get your blood pumping have great benefits for your health.
I'll get sweaty... you may, but if things get out of control, you can stop and have a rest. At least stair climbing is weather-proof.
I work on the 4th/5th floor... start small, set yourself a challenge to get to a certain floor, and ramp it up.
‘I wear high heels’ Climbing up stairs on high heels can help strengthen your muscles. And if it gets that hard, you can always ask a colleague for some extra help

10 reasons we should all take the stairs: 

  1. You don't need any special equipment.
  2. Active stair climbers are more fit and have a higher aerobic capacity
  3. Even two flights of stairs climbed per day can lead to 400gr of weight loss over one year
  4. Climbing stairs can improve the amount of "good cholesterol" in the blood
  5. Stair climbing can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
  6. Stair climbing can help you build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
  7. Climbing just eight flights of stairs a day lowers average early mortality risk by 33%
  8. Seven minutes stair climbing a day can halve the risk of heart attack over 10 years​
  9. Climbing the stairs is good for your happiness – your body releases chemical endorphins, making you feel happy and calm. It's not only good for health but it will  make you feel more focused and concentrated in achieving your goals.
  10. Being ORANGE does not stop us thinking GREEN

An elevator uses about 100Watt hours per round trip (20 floors) per person, about how much a desktop computer and monitor use running for 30 minutes. By ditching the elevator, you will save about 33lbs. of CO2 a month. Our study showed we saved up to 15 minutes a day by taking the stairs.

Take our challenge – start using stairs not elevator. As there is no elevator to good health, you have to take the stairs. Let’s start with the change today. Challenge your team mates as well and let us know how you feel. Some PICTURES are welcome as well.

DID YOU KNOW?

Travel means challenge, adventure, perspective, accomplishment

''My hobby and greatest passion is travelling'' says Polya Statkova. "I have discovered this passion of mine long time ago as it enriches my life and while I’m at it...all these reasons are my motivations for doing it. It opens up my eyes and has helped me learn more about the cultures’ varieties. All the challenges and opportunities travel lays at my feet help me discover who I am in a way that’s only possible on the road. If you’re open and willing, travel will make you an incredibly better-rounded human being. Travel creates meaningful relationships. People you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact list. They become places on the map to visit later on. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, and force you to take in new and refreshing perspectives, and ultimately realize that everyone is the same.

Did You Know?

Travel means challenge, adventure, perspective, accomplishment

''My hobby and greatest passion is travelling'' says Polya Statkova. "I have discovered this passion of mine long time ago as it enriches my life and while I’m at it...all these reasons are my motivations for doing it. It opens up my eyes and has helped me learn more about the cultures’ varieties. All the challenges and opportunities travel lays at my feet help me discover who I am in a way that’s only possible on the road. If you’re open and willing, travel will make you an incredibly better-rounded human being. Travel creates meaningful relationships. People you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact list. They become places on the map to visit later on. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, and force you to take in new and refreshing perspectives, and ultimately realize that everyone is the same. Traveling develops skills you didn’t know you had. It also proves that dreams do come true. You imagined it, daydreamed about it, and envisioned it. Guess what? It can be done. No matter it it’s Costa Rica or village next to where you live. I’ve been to so many beautiful places around the Europe, doing some islands cruising, visiting Italian lakes, enjoying wine tourism…  Travel also gives you cool stories. Let’s face it. Even for folks who can’t tell a story, just the words “last year in Mongolia” get you instant party points. Just audit it!"

EAGER TO LEARN

Just another confirmation that very soon we will all be leaving in the world of new kind of banking. We are used to  time then 3 types of banking players existed. Big guys (mainly characterized as international subsidiaries with its own implications), Locally owned group Banks ( mainly characterised by no real strategy, with majority in portfolio being related companies )and Niche players ( specialising in particular business model , like TBI Bank), now we have a new kind of player, Marketplace banks, whose whole model is truly client facing. A new breed, they have an opportunity to win majority of mobile first customers. Read more.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Don’t audit life: show up and make the most of it now” Regina Brett

Write us back at tbi.inside@tbibank.bg and become our next GUEST EDITOR, share your TALENT or HOBBY, or just let us know how your ‘Stairs vs Elevator’ challenge goes on.

Write us back at tbi.inside@tbibank.bg and become our next GUEST EDITOR, share your TALENT or HOBBY, or just let us know how your ‘Stairs vs Elevator’ challenge goes on.