1. Authority of Committee. The Board of Directors hereby delegates to the Committee, in its capacity as a committee of the Board, the sole authority to engage, determine the compensation of, and provide oversight to the independent accounting firm engaged to prepare and issue an audit report (and related work) for the Company, which firm shall report directly to the Committee. The Committee shall approve in advance any permissible non-audit services provided by the independent accountants. The Committee may delegate to the Chair and/or one or more other designated members of the Committee the authority to grant preapprovals of permissible non-audit services. Any such preapprovals shall be presented to the full Committee at its next scheduled meeting. The Committee shall have the authority to engage independent counsel and other advisors, as the Committee determines necessary to perform its functions. The Committee shall also resolve disagreements, if any, between management and the independent auditor to assure compliance with laws and regulations.
2 . Plan of Audit. Consult with the independent accountants regarding the plan of audit. The Committee also shall review with the independent accountants their report on the audit and review with management the independent accountants’ suggested changes or improvements in the Company’s accounting practices or controls.
3 . Accounting Principles and Disclosure. Review significant developments in accounting rules. The Committee shall review with management recommended changes in the Company’s methods of accounting or financial statements. The Committee also shall review with the independent accountants any significant proposed changes in accounting principles and financial statements.
4. Internal Accounting Controls. Consult with the independent accountants regarding the adequacy of internal accounting controls. Where appropriate, consultation with the independent accountants regarding internal controls shall be conducted out of management’s presence. In connection with this function, the Committee may require the Company’s counsel to circulate a questionnaire to evaluate the Company’s compliance with banking, financial disclosure and accounting laws.
5. Financial Disclosure Documents. Review with management and the independent accountants the Company’s financial disclosure documents, including all financial statements and reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (or the Company’s primary Federal securities regulator), or sent to stockholders and, following the satisfactory completion of each year-end review, recommend to the Board the inclusion of the audited financial statements in the Company’s filing on Form 10-K (or Form 10-KSB). The review shall include any significant problems and material disputes between management and the independent accountants and a discussion with the independent accountants out of management’s presence of the quality of the Company’s accounting principles as applied in its financial reporting, the clarity of the Company’s financial disclosures and degree of aggressiveness or conservatism of the Company’s accounting principles and underlying estimates, and a frank and open discussion of other significant decisions made by management in preparing the financial disclosure.
6. Internal Control Systems. Review with management and internal auditors the Company’s internal control systems intended to ensure the reliability of financial reporting and compliance with applicable codes of conduct, laws, and regulations. The review shall include any significant problems and regulatory concerns. The Committee also shall review internal audit plans in significant compliance areas.
7. Ethical Environment. Consult with management on the establishment and maintenance of an environment that promotes ethical behavior, including the establishment, communication, and enforcement of codes of conduct to guard against dishonest, unethical, or illegal activities.
8. Oversight of Executive Officers and Directors and Conflicts of Interest. Review significant conflicts of interest involving directors or executive officers. The Committee shall review compliance with Company policies and procedures with respect to officers’ expense accounts and perquisites, including their use of corporate assets, and consider the results of any review of these areas by the internal auditor or the independent accountant. The Committee shall review executive officers’ and directors’ loan and deposit relationships and consider the results of any review of these areas by the internal auditor or the independent accountant. The Committee also shall review significant questionable or illegal payments.
9. Oversight of Independent Accountants. Evaluate the independent accountants on an annual basis and, where appropriate, replace for the independent accountants. In such evaluation, the Committee shall ensure that the independent accountants deliver to the Committee a formal written statement delineating all relationships between the accountants and the Company. The Committee also shall engage in a dialogue with the accountants with respect to any disclosed relationships or services that may impact the objectivity and independence of the independent accountants and in response to the independent accountant’s report take appropriate action to satisfy itself of the independent accountant’s independence.
10. Adequacy of Personnel. Review periodically the adequacy of the Company’s accounting, financial, and auditing personnel resources.
11. Risk Management. Review and evaluate risk management policies in light of the Company’s business strategy, capital strength, and overall risk tolerance. The Committee also shall evaluate on a periodic basis the Company’s investment and derivatives risk management policies, including the internal system to review operational risks, credit risks, interest rate risks, procedures for derivatives investment and trading, and safeguards to ensure compliance with procedures.
12. Tax Policies. Review periodically the Company’s tax policies and any pending audits or assessments.
13. Offerings of Securities. Perform appropriate due diligence on behalf of the Board of Directors with respect to the Company’s offerings of securities.
14. Charter Amendments. Review this Charter annually, assess its adequacy and propose appropriate amendments to the Board.
15. Complaint Procedures. Establish procedures to receive complaints or concerns regarding accounting or auditing matters and investigate any matter brought to its attention within the scope of its duties.
16. Issue Tracker Procedures: Review the Issue Tracker to track outstanding audits and examinations issues.