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Author Archives: Roger Barker
Around 100 company chiefs from FTSE companies, academics and leaders from the public sector joined us for a debate at the Institute of Directors last week. On the agenda, the new UK Code of Corporate Governance has been recently revised by the Financial Reporting Council and is covered in the new edition of the IoD’s Director’s Handbook. The discussion ranged from annual re-elections to boardroom diversity and ethics.
The Financial Reporting Council has today published its revised UK Corporate Governance Code (formerly the Combined Code). All companies with a Premium Listing on the London Stock Exchange must either “comply or explain” with the new Code in respect of financial years beginning after June 2010.
The role of shareholders in the governance of risk is currently a major issue for institutional investors. Shareholders have been criticised for failing to challenge the high risk business strategies of many banks and other financial institutions prior to the financial crisis. Indeed there is a good deal of anecdotal evidence which suggests that, in certain cases, investors actually encouraged banks to take on additional risk in the name of “balance sheet efficiency”. This has caste doubt on the ability of shareholders to act as an effective governance safeguard within the overall UK system of corporate governance.
Almost unnoticed, the Companies Act 2006 came into full force on 1 October 2009. This was a low profile ending for a legal reform process that has lasted more than a decade and given rise to the longest ever piece of UK legislation (1300 sections). Part of the reason for the lack of fanfare is the fact that the Act is already mainly in force.