Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance News

This section on Corporate Governance provides investors with the latest topical news plus some informal comments and insights from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors.

New Corporate Governance Code

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) have published a new UK Corporate Governance Code – a draft that is subject to public consultation. The revised Code sets out good practice so that the boards of companies can: Establish a company’s purpose, strategy and values and satisfy themselves that these and their culture are aligned; Undertake effective engagement with wider stakeholders, to improve trust and achieve mutual benefit, and to have regard to wider society; Gather views of the workforce; Ensure appointments to ...

FRC study: Risk and Viability Reporting

In July of this year, UKSA and ShareSoc members received an email inviting them to participate in a survey being run by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). The survey was part of a wider study being carried out by the FRC into Risk and Viability Reporting. Over 190 members responded which was an excellent result. The FRC agreed that it would provide feedback for members on the results of the survey. This article from Patrick Leach at the FRC summarises the ...

Round up on recent FRC and FCA developments

Our event at the FRC on 21 November, when the FRC will explain what they do and listen to members’ feedback, is a sellout and we are now operating a waiting list. Below is a roundup of recent FRC and FCA developments, to inform attendees and help guide questioning. FRC says corporate reporting could still be improved In its annual review of corporate reporting, the FRC said disclosures by large listed UK companies are generally good but detailed explanations and clarity could still ...

Johnston Press, Blancco Technology and Intercede

Companies in difficulties always make for interesting reading, and here’s a brace of them. Firstly Johnston Press (JPR), a publisher of newspapers. That includes many local ones but also the Yorkshire Post and the Scotsman who cover national business news – the latter is particularly good on the travails of those big banks registered in Scotland such as RBS and Lloyds. The company had more operating losses than revenue last year, debt is way too high and dividends have been non-existent for ...

EDGE VCT – A Trick or Treat pair of RNSs

EDGE VCT released their half year report on 1st November, and there was no treat for shareholders. The results show yet another drop in NAV, with the valuation of each asset either unchanged or virtually unchanged. The drop therefore is entirely due to dividends and running expenses. (Dividends were paid to H holders and only a fraction of the I holders; the rest were left with an empty sweet bag). The H class now has £ 2.27 mio of net current ...

City of London Group – exemplary transparency, exemplary culture

DISCLOSURE - I hold shares in CLIG and you should consider my comments in that light and with appropriate scepticism – DYOR! On 23rd October I attended CLIG's AGM and Investor Afternoon. These were well advertised, at convenient times and locations and open to all investors - as ShareSoc encourages all businesses to do. Roger Lawson and UKSA's Gerald Roberts joined me at the AGM, and Gerald for the Investor afternoon. A key issue which I raised at the AGM was succession planning, ...

ADVFN Results and More on Lloyds

ADVFN Plc (AFN) published their results for the year to June yesterday. I have a very small holding in the company (acquired for reasons I won’t go into). ADVFN are information providers on the stock market, primarily to private investors. Many people monitor their bulletin boards although like many such boards frequented by private investors, they are somewhat of a curate’s egg so far as serious or sophisticated investors are concerned. But they certainly have a large following – they say they ...

RBS Snub to Chris Philp MP and next steps

Gavin Palmer was at the Tory Party Conference and in discussion with Chris Philp, MP, where it emerged that Chris had written three times to RBS asking Sir Howard Davies, RBS Chairman why they were objecting to our shareholder resolution for a Shareholder Committee. Regular readers will be aware that it was Chris who wrote an excellent paper covering Shareholder Committees in September 2016 which received wide publicity. See http://highpaycentre.org/files/HPC_42_WEB_amend_-_Restoring_Responsible_Ownership.pdf Despite Chris’ best efforts, RBS rebuffed his questions and refused to share their legal ...

HBOS and Lloyds Legal Case

This week sees the start of the legal case in the High Court by investors in the Lloyds TSB over the acquisition of HBOS – opening submissions are on Wednesday and it’s scheduled to run through to March next year. Anyone can attend these hearings of course but I think it will take a very patient person to sit through all of it. I have submitted written evidence on behalf of the litigants (represented by Harcus Sinclair) but it seems I ...

Guidance for UK Boards on Stakeholders

Review and commentary by Cliff Weight ICSA: The Governance Institute and The Investment Association (IA) have launched guidance to help UK company boards ensure they understand and weigh up the interests of their stakeholders when making strategic decisions. Commentary: My view is • They have recommended 10 principles. Principle number 9 is important -“The board should report to its shareholders on how it has taken the impact on key stakeholders into account when making decisions.” - The Government will introduce legislation to this effect ...