BEIS

FT publishes Audit Reform Letter signed by ShareSoc and UKSA

The FT has published our letter about "Letter: Investors are let down by the decision to dilute boardroom rules" see https://www.ft.com/content/ff6af1c7-6cb9-4fd8-9be0-43c11bcf89bb The letter we wrote was as follows: Sir Many investors will be disappointed to read the article headed “Backlash spurs dilution of audit reform” (Report, November 9). The reforms are supposed to restore trust in governance and audit. Sir John Kingman’s review emphasised that the best way to do this was to focus on “the interests of consumers of financial information, not producers”. ...

Policy and Campaigns – Progress Update to 12 October 2021

Since June 14 (see https://www.sharesoc.org/sharesoc-news/policy-and-campaigns-progress-update-14-june-2021/  for previous update), ShareSoc's Policy and Campaigns' team have worked on:   Woodford Campaign: Leigh Day have submitted their claim. They now have 11,000 claimants and another 3,000 registered, but yet to sign their Leigh Day agreement. We held a very successful webinar on 30 Sept with 942 registrants. ShareSoc’s Woodford Campaign now has over 1,500 members, which enables us to lobby strongly for regulatory change and to hold to account those who have done wrong.  ...

AGMs – Best practice needs to evolve

There needs to be a review of the guidance on company AGMs. In these difficult and uncertain times it is vitally important that companies continue to engage with investors, that they keep them up to date with events and foster their support and commitment. Never has the importance of the AGM been so high. It is now a month since the current lockdown due to Covid-19 was introduced. This has coincided with a particularly busy period in the annual reporting season with ...

Response to Market Study on Statutory Audit Services

Response to Initial Consultation on Recommendations by the Competition and Markets Authority Peter Parry and Cliff Weight have written a joint response on behalf of the UK Shareholders’ Association (UKSA) and the UK Individual Shareholders’ Society (ShareSoc). This has been submitted to the CMA. We made these key points: There are a few important and overarching issues which we believe need to be stated: Limitations of the CMA’s remit; the CMA was tasked with looking at the audit market and, in particular, considering ...

Progress at Last! Review of Intermediated Securities

As members of ShareSoc will know, our Shareholder Rights Campaign is one of our most important activities. The current difficulty of contacting shareholders whose shares are held in nominee accounts, and the difficulty many such shareholders have in voting, is a severe impediment to driving necessary change. This is a particular problem with smallcap companies. In other words, without improved shareholder rights, it is difficult for any other campaigns directed at problem companies to succeed. Less scrupulous directors know this and feel ...

UKSA-ShareSoc joint response to Brydon Review of Audit

UKSA-ShareSoc submitted a joint response to the Brydon REVIEW INTO THE QUALITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF AUDIT  We said a fresh approach was needed. Many of the questions in the Review overtly or implicitly prompt debate about how the external audit can be made more robust and more relevant in future. Underlying this is a requirement to find ways of making auditors more accountable to those they are meant to be serving – namely the shareholders. Our view is that this cannot be achieved ...

Response to BEIS on the FRC Kingman proposals

In a detailed joint ShareSoc-UKSA 12-page Response to BEIS on the FRC Kingman proposals, we said we support the general thrust of the Kingman proposals. Kingman is proposing a new authority to replace the FRC. We also made some more general points: Sound financial reporting is a basic prerequisite for good stewardship. However, no matter how good the financial reporting is, if a significant proportion of investors are disenfranchised and unable to make their voice heard, many of the benefits of better financial reporting will ...

Changes Proposed at Companies House

The Government BEIS Department have recently proposed a number of important changes to the way Companies House operates in a public consultation entitled “Corporate Transparency and Register Reform” (see https://tinyurl.com/yysf9gdn ). Here’s a brief summary of the main points: This consultation will be of interest to anyone who is a director of a private or a public company, or a major shareholder in such a company (i.e. those People with Significant Control). Even directors of the smallest companies could be affected. A major ...

The Unstoppable Glacier of Government’s Concerted Actions?

By Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc We sometimes see things changing at a glacier-like pace. But once a glacier starts moving it has huge momentum and is unstoppable. My question is: is this metaphor applicable to the way Government is behaving with regard to business? The civil servants who drive Government policy transcend the short lives of Parliament. Taking this perspective what do we see? My take on this is as follows. The Financial Crisis terrified nearly everyone. We stared into the abyss. We were ...

Auditor appointments: ShareSoc+UKSA write to Minister Greg Clark

Today 18 Feb 2019, ShareSoc & UKSA have written to The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. We made three key points: Appointment of auditors by a third party with the relevant skills and expertise would, once and for all, break the current link of excessive dependency between auditors and those they audit. If, on a trial basis, the Regulator started by managing the appointment of auditors for FTSE 100 companies this would ...