2024 Horizon scanning for assurance functions


We outline risks facing the financial services sector to consider when setting your Assurance Plan for 2024

There is no doubt we are living through extraordinary times, with five broad megatrends - climate change, technological disruption, demographic shifts, a fracturing world and social instability - reshaping the risk landscape in which we operate.

Although none of these forces are new, their scope, speed, impact and interdependence are growing, creating a risk complexity that arguably has never been seen before. This is forcing companies to rethink their strategies and to speed up change, layering even more risk and complexity. In a recent CEO survey conducted by PwC, 40% of global CEOs did not think their organisations would be economically viable in ten years time if they continued with their current strategy. Now, more than ever, assurance functions need to be close to their organisation’s strategic priorities, building a deep understanding of what could go wrong, but also what must go right.

Alongside this, the supervisory and regulatory agenda is exceptionally busy as regulators and other policy makers respond to a range of macro-trends. The UK is transitioning into a post Brexit landscape and the proposed overhaul of the financial services regulatory architecture aims at tailoring the regulatory landscape to better suit UK markets, whilst bolstering the competitiveness and growth of the UK’s financial sector. There are also proposed changes to the UK Corporate Governance Code that will impact a number of organisations.

With all of this change, assurance functions need to be agile and ready to challenge organisations on their capacity and capability to anticipate, prepare, respond and recover from varied events.

Our annual horizon scanning documents have been prepared to assist assurance functions in developing their audit universe, risk assessment and 2024 audit plans, as well as for the C-suite, executive directors and non-executive directors responsible for the governance and control of financial services institutions.


This year, our document covers the following areas:

Macrotrends: Further detail on the five megatrends as well as a focus on the latest geopolitical risks and UK economic outlook.

Regulatory landscape: covering the proposed overhaul of the financial services regulatory architecture: Financial Services & Markets Act 2023, the Government’s Edinburgh Reforms, the proposed changes to the UK Corporate Governance Code and the annual business plans from the regulators.

Hot spots: We deep dive into five key hot spots that are impacting financial services and are at the forefront of boardroom discussions: (i) Conduct and governance, (ii) Prudential, (iii) Environmental, social and governance (ESG), (iv) Technology and operations and (v) Financial crime.

Contact us

Steve Frizzell

Steve Frizzell

Internal Audit Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7802 659053

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