RBI revises LFAR norms for banks to improve audit efficacy, risk management


The Reserve Bank on Saturday came up with revised long format audit report (LFAR) norms with a view to improving efficacy of internal audit and risk management systems.

The LFAR, which applies to statutory central auditors (SCA) and branch auditors of banks, has been updated keepingin view the large scale changes in the size, complexities, business model and risks in the banking operations, the said.

The revised LFAR format will be put into operation for the period covering 2020-21 and onwards, the central bank said.

“The overall objective of the LFAR should be to identify and assess the gaps and vulnerable areas in the business operations, risk management, compliance and the efficacy of internal audit and provide an independent opinion on the same to the Board of the bank and provide their observations,” the said.

While issuing the revised norms, the asked the banks to ensure timely receipt of the LFAR from auditors.

It further said that the LFAR should be placed before the Audit Committee of Board and Local Advisory Board of the bank indicating the action taken or proposed to

Amazon downgrades 20,000 product reviews to fight false ratings: Report


E-commerce giant has taken down nearly 20,000 product reviews after some of the top reviewers in Britain were suspected to have accepted money or products in exchange for a five-star rating.

The action by came on Friday after a Financial Times investigation flagged suspicious activities by nine of the top 10 reviewers on co.uk.

Amazon removed all of the reviews by seven of the users highlighted in the investigation.

The reviewers profited from providing five-star ratings for products most of which were from little-known Chinese brands, according to the report.

The investigation revealed that Justin Fryer, the top reviewer on Amazon.co.uk, provided his five-star approval on average once every four hours.

Fryer reviewed a gamut of items ranging from gym equipment to smartphones and then he appears to have sold some of these products on other e-commerce platforms, raking in nearly 20,000 pounds since June.

When the FT contacted Fryer, he denied receiving any benefit for the reviews.

But review history disappeared from his Amazon profile page, FT reported, adding that at least two other UK reviewers deleted

Taliban Say Team In Qatar For Afghan Peace Talks


The Taliban’s negotiating team has arrived in Qatar, a spokesman said Saturday, in a sign that long-delayed peace talks with the Afghan government are inching closer to starting.

A date for the talks, to be hosted in Doha, has not been set but the warring sides have this week signalled that negotiations could launch soon, following efforts to wrap up a drawn out prisoner exchange.

“All members of our negotiating team have arrived in Doha. The talks will begin once some small technical issues are resolved,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told AFP.

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad traveled to Doha on Friday, the State Department said, in another sign that talks could be imminent.

“The Afghan people are ready for a sustainable reduction in violence and a political settlement that will end the war,” the department said in a statement.

“Afghan leaders must seize this historic opportunity for peace. All sides have taken important steps to remove obstacles for the start of IAN. Now is the time to start,” it added, referring to Intra-Afghan Negotiations.

The Taliban team had recently been in Pakistan discussing the peace process with the government in Islamabad.

Qatar authorities have been imposing a seven-day quarantine

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