Regulations and Law

Rolls-Royce – Audits Investigated and AGM

Yesterday (4/5/2017) I attended the Rolls-Royce (RR.) Annual General Meeting in Derby. In former years they used to hold the meetings in London but it’s been Nottingham and Derby...

Banks and Bank Credit Card Accounting

It's going to be exciting week next week for RBS and Lloyds Bank shareholders with both AGMs on Thursday in Scotland - we expect to issue a report on events. Indeed it's going to be an exciting period ahead because the law suits by those investors in the RBS rights issue who have not yet settled, and an action over the takeover of HBOS by LloydsTSB, are both getting into court in the next few months. Having Fred Goodwin on the witness ...

Open-Ended Property Funds – Our Views

ShareSoc has now submitted our response to the consultation by the FRC on "Illiquid Assets and Open-Ended Investment Funds". This follows on from the problems experienced last year where property funds had to close to redemptions but it can affect other types of funds also such as private equity ones. In summary after listening to a number of our members on this topic, we have chosen to say that although we would not be opposed to the banning of such funds entirely, ...

Why Companies Don’t Get Struck Off, and Maven VCT5

I have had two listed companies in my last 25 years of investing, that delisted and then became worthless. But the directors refused to put them into liquidation or...

Finance Bill and Tax Changes

A General Election – What Should Be In the Manifestos?

There is to be a General Election on the 8th June in case you have not heard. That has the unfortunate consequence on freezing Government business, with the prospect of changes of Ministers thereafter. Any formal consultations - for example on improved Corporate Governance and remuneration restraints - will be deferred. So the key question now is what would we like to see in the manifestos of the leading political parties? Here's my list: A commitment to ensure that private shareholders in ...

Voting Your Shares – ISAs

One of our Members has responded to our previous note on voting your shares held in nominee accounts and in particular ISAs by saying that when he requested they submit votes on his Rolls-Royce shares the Idealing company said there would be a £30 administration charge for doing so. The ISA regulations make no provision for such a charge so I have advised that he should tell them this is illegal. Below is the relevant part of the ISA Regulations which some ...

Letter in the FT on Pre-Packs

The Financial Times published a letter from me on Pre-Pack administrations and their abuses today - see: https://www.ft.com/content/f9d55388-2109-11e7-b7d3-163f5a7f229c . More will be in the latest ShareSoc Informer Newsletter which is about to be published. Roger Lawson

Hard Hitting BEIS Report on Corporate Governance and Pay

The BEIS Commons Select Committee have today published a strongly worded report on Corporate Governance after its recent hearings on the subject. Here are some of the key points they make: They agree with the Prime Minister that high levels of executive pay need to be tackled "for the benefit of society as a whole". They forcefully recommend that Long Term Incentive Plans (LTIPs) should be abolished as soon as possible because they create perverse incentives and are often a way ...

Response to FSCS Consultation

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) pays out if you have lost money as a result of an authorised financial services firm going bust or otherwise being unable to pay compensation for various failings - for example a bank or stockbroker. The scheme is funded by a levy on services firms. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA has recently undertaken a public consultation on changes to the scheme. ShareSoc has submitted a response giving our views on behalf of our Members. At present ...