Banks have a critical position in the development of economies due to their major role in running the financial system. The financial crisis was considered to a large extent attributable to excessive risk-taking by banks.
Of particular concern was the perceived failure by boards to exercise sufficient risk oversight and establish appropriately compliance and control functions. This led to a stronger European frame of regulation & supervision as well as to a focus on internal governance and risk management. In addition to this, improving culture, and risk culture in particular, in the banking and financial services industry is nowadays an imperative, in order to lessen frequent misconducts of banks and protect them from reputational risk, so creating significant value for their stakeholders and for the whole economy. In a related manner, it was recently emphasized by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision that the recent financial crisis not only revealed weaknesses in risk management, control and governance processes at banks, but also highlighted the need to improve the quality of external audits. Importantly, the external auditors of banks can play an important role in contributing to the financial stability of the whole banking system. Accordingly, in the near future, more than before, there will be the need to stimulate the effectiveness of external auditing of banks, and the relevant better qualification and training of external auditors, as well as a widespread knowledge of banking accounting system, financial statements, and international accounting standards. This volume is built upon several years of research, teaching and professional experiences of the editors and co-authors in the Banking sector. The book provides added value to the actual ongoing debate on Governance, Risk, Accounting and Auditing pivotal issues, which are nowadays affecting the Italian and European banking and financial scenario.