Absa Bank (Mauritius) Limited (Absa) has a strong corporate governance framework in place, which is reviewed by its board of directors regularly to ensure accountability, fairness and transparency. The directors ensure that Absa's objectives are pursued within the context of the social, regulatory and market environment, and that there is a sound culture of risk management in the bank that is inculcated in the day to day business activities and decisions.
Code and policies
The board ensures that the bank complies with all relevant laws, regulations and codes of business practice.
The board comprises seven non-executive directors who are all experienced business leaders and/or seasoned professionals in their respective fields of expertise, and two executive directors. The board is assisted by a company secretary.
The bank follows a set process for the nomination and appointment of directors. Upon appointment to the board, a director is issued with an appointment letter detailing his or her responsibilities, along with the other relevant terms and conditions applicable to his or her appointment as a director.
ABML has a well-established internal risk management framework which operates through the Board, Board Sub-Committees and management committees. The three sub-committees to the ABML Board and their respective terms of reference are:
Our code of ethics establishes the behavioural standards expected of every Absa employee in our conduct day to day. It sets out how our purpose and values should be put into practice and provides a roadmap aligning them to the behavioural, ethical and practical compliance aspects of our work as a bank.
Identifying and managing conflicts of interest is fundamental to the conduct of our business as Absa Group Limited, in term of our relationships with customers and the markets in which we operate. Understanding the conflicts of interest that impact or potentially impact the businesses enables us to handle them appropriately.
Even if there is no evidence of improper actions, a conflict of interest can create an appearance of impropriety that undermines confidence in AGL and its employees. If we do not identify and manage our conflicts of interest appropriately, we could harm customers and the markets in which we operate. To find more on how we manage our conflicts of interest, please contact us.
Parties are considered to be related to the bank if they have control over the bank, directly or indirectly, or can influence the bank significantly in making financial and operating decisions or vice versa or if they and the bank are subject to common control.
The Bank of Mauritius has issued a guideline on Related Party Transactions in December 2011, which sets out the control and monitoring that banks must exercise over related party transactions. It also sets limits on exposures to related parties, which banks cannot exceed without prior approval from the Bank of Mauritius.
As part of our policies and practices, and in compliance with the guideline on Related Party Transactions, senior officers are required to disclose their interests in entities and close relatives that deal with us, and that can meet the definition of a related party to the bank. The bank also ensures that all transactions with related parties are carried out at arms’ length. To find out more on how we manage our related party transactions, please contact us.
Absa Bank (Mauritius) Limited (the bank) is governed by an Enterprise Risk Management Framework where controls, through policies and standards, are enforced to risk manage identified critical risks faced by the bank. Policies and standards are regularly reviewed and subsequently approved by the board of the bank in addition to the board of Absa Group Limited. The policies and standards are posted on the organisation’s intranet, accessible to its employees.
The bank has implemented a set of policies for data management, information security, cyber security and technology risks so as to have a holistic controlled approach for confidentiality, integrity and availability of information created, processed, transmitted, stored and disposed by the Bank. The policies and standards cover information which can be accessed both logically and physically while regular training and awareness programmes are done to ensure common understanding across the Bank.
As per the Enterprise Risk Management Framework, the Bank has also implemented appropriate governance and monitoring teams across different lines of defence, who are responsible to monitor adherence to these policies and standards while assessing their operating effectiveness. Governance forums like the Risk Forum and the Control Forum, which are comprised of relevant members of the Management, are used to review and track remediation of any non-adherence to these policies and standards.
Absa Bank (Mauritius) Limited has a board-approved dividend policy, which adheres to the local statutory and regulatory requirements.
It is the policy of the Boards of Absa Bank (Mauritius) Limited (ABML) and Absa Group Limited (Absa Group) to maintain an independent internal audit function to undertake internal audit work throughout Absa Group.
The Internal Audit function for ABML (ABML Internal Audit) is responsible for audit coverage of ABML. ABML Internal Audit (IA) has an IA charter approved by the Board Audit Committee that defines the purpose, authority and responsibilities of ABML Internal Audit, and is consistent with the charter of Absa Group Internal Audit.
The objectives of ABML Internal Audit, in common with Absa Group Internal Audit, are:
- To assist the ABML Board and ABML Executive Management to protect the reputation, the sustainability and assets of ABML;
- To provide independent, reliable, valued, insightful and timely assurance to the ABML and Absa Group Boards and Executive Management over the effectiveness of governance, risk management and control over current, systemic and evolving risks, in the context of the current and expected business environment.