News July 2015 UK responds to European Commission's Recommendation on the quality of corporate governance reporting

UK responds to European Commission's Recommendation on the quality of corporate governance reporting ('comply or explain')

16 July 2015

PN 49/15

The FRC's Director of Corporate Governance, David Styles, on behalf of the UK, has responded to the European Commission's Recommendation on the quality of corporate governance reporting ('comply or explain'):

"The 'comply or explain' method of adherence has given companies flexibility and made it possible to set more demanding standards than can be done through hard rules. Experience has shown that the vast majority of companies attain these standards – in 2014 the Grant Thornton survey of compliance by FTSE 350 companies found that 94 per cent of companies complied with all, or all but one or two, of the 54 provisions in the Code. And by requiring companies to report to shareholders rather than regulators means that the decision on whether a company's governance is adequate is taken by those in whose interest the board is meant to act.

The FRC has commenced a communications exercise to raise standards and promote the flexibility of ‘comply or explain’. Through this we will be reminding both companies and investors that simply complying without giving due consideration to what is appropriate and relevant reduces the flexibility that this approach aims to achieve. To this end, further work will be conducted during the rest of this year to monitor reporting by companies on explanations given when they are not compliant with the Code."


Read the full letter here: UK response to European Commission's Recommendation on the quality of corporate governance reporting (PDF)

Notes to editors:

The FRC is responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment.  We set the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes as well as UK standards for accounting, auditing and actuarial work.  We represent UK interests in international standard-setting.  We also monitor and take action to promote the quality of corporate reporting and auditing.  We operate independent disciplinary arrangements for accountants and actuaries; and oversee the regulatory activities of the accountancy and actuarial professional bodies.

Share