Companies are embracing the spirit of the Wates Principles

News types: Codes and Standards Announcements

Published: 23 February 2022

Today the Financial Reporting Council has issued the first in-depth assessment of the quality of reporting from private companies who have chosen to follow the Wates Principles. The report, which was conducted with the University of Essex, shows that the Wates Principles are the most widely adopted corporate governance code used by large private companies.

The research shows that companies are grasping the spirit of the Wates Principles in their governance reporting. They are using the principles as a tool for self-reflection and improvement, and seeing the yearly governance reporting as an opportunity, not a burden. This research also includes examples of good reporting and acknowledges that it is too early to draw too many conclusions as most companies were in their first cycle of reporting.
The financial sector was the biggest adopter of the Wates Principles.

Sir James Wates, Chair of the Wates Principles Coalition Group, said,

“This research gives us a valuable insight into how the Wates Principles are being applied, providing in particular the timely and rigorous analysis we need to inform public policy decisions about corporate governance. The research shows companies are grasping the spirit of the Wates Principles, and I would expect them to use this report to guide continual improvements in their reporting.”

Sir Jon Thompson, FRC CEO said,

“We are pleased to see many private companies using the Wates Principles to communicate to their stakeholders relevant information about how they are governed, with an appropriate level of detail, using clear and understandable language. This is a positive first result. We hope that companies will build on this good start and continue to improve in practice and reporting in the future.”