FRC

Lifting the Lid on the FRC, 5 November 2019

Once again, the FRC is holding its annual update event for private investors. This year it will take place on Tuesday, 5th November from 1.30pm to 5.00pm. As in previous years, the venue will be the FRC's offices at 125 London Wall. This promises to be a very interesting afternoon, including an address from Jon Thompson, the new CEO of the FRC, on his vision, strategy and priorities for the future. Further details are below. If you wish to attend, please register using ...

FRC Enforcement of its Rules

by Cliff Weight, ShareSoc Director Very belatedly, the FRC has substantially increased tough action to tackle poor quality audit. To me, these were the key words which showed that for the last ten years the FRC had dreadfully understaffed this activity - "The Enforcement Division has grown significantly in recent years reflecting the FRC’s investment in what has become recognised as one of the organisation’s key functions. A decade ago the team comprised just six members. By 31 March 2019 it had been expanded to ...

Renold Accounts, Audit Quality and Abnormal Price Movements

Chain maker Renold (RNO) has provided the latest example of sloppy accounting work. On the 9th July it reported that it had identified accounting issues in the three years ending March 2017, 2018 and 2019. Assets and profits were overstated and liabilities were understated in the Torque Transmission division. In total adjusted operating profits were overstated by £1.8 million. As a result the AGM is being postponed to give time for revising the Annual Accounts. Their auditors are Deloitte. The Financial Reporting ...

Redcentric (RCN) Campaign: Important Developments

There have been important developments in our campaign regarding the accounting scandal at IT service group, Redcentric. Firstly the FRC have moved at "lightning speed" (by their usually interminable standards), and published their findings in little more than two years after the matter was brought to their attention. And secondly there is news on the parallel FCA investigation in Redcentric's recently published annual results for 2018/19. FRC Report The FRC concluded that Redcentric's auditors, PwC, did not meet expected professional standards in their audits ...

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 ...

ShareSoc and UKSA make joint response to FCA/FRC Consultation on Effective Stewardship

In January 2019, the FCA and FRC  issued a joint discussion  paper DP19/1 Building a regulatory framework for effective stewardship. On 15 April 2019, we made a joint response from UKSA and ShareSoc on behalf of individual investors. In our response we make the following key points: Investor stewardship must not let boards off the hook for their own stewardship. The Stewardship Code should be renamed the Investor Stewardship Code to better reflect what investors do and to better acknowledge the role of ...

Grant Thornton, Interserve and Arc Fund Management

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) have announced an investigation into the audits by Grant Thornton of the accounts of Interserve (IRV) in the years 2015-2017. Interserve was a large outsourcing company with most of its business from Government contracts. It ran out of cash and went into administration on the 15th March with debts of £738 million. Readers will no doubt be aware that Grant Thornton were also the auditors of Patisserie Holdings and Globo, both cases where very substantial fraud ...

FRC Reporting Lab survey of investors views of the topics they should review

Dear Member,  The FRC is doing a survey of investors views of the topics that the Reporting Lab should look at over the next few years. The link to the survey is: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/labsurvey11/ Please do respond if you can; it should only take about 5  minutes to complete (I just did it and it took me 7 minutes but I wrote lots of comments). The FRC runs an excellent investor engagement programme of which the Reporting Lab forms an important part. The FRC is very ...

FCA Consultation on proposals to improve shareholder engagement

In January the FCA issued a consultation paper CP19/7 Financial Conduct Authority Consultation on proposals to improve shareholder engagement. This was a technical consultation on how to implement the EU Shareholder Rights Directive II in relation to its Stewardship aspects. Today 27 March UKSA and ShareSoc made a joint response, on behalf of individual investors. We made a number of points, see below, with further background in an Appendix. We think this is important context to our response to the FCA consultation as ...

Proposed Revision to the UK Stewardship Code 2019

ShareSoc has made a joint response with UKSA  on behalf of individual investors to the consultation from the FRC on the revised Stewardship Code. We believe that the proposed revisions to the Stewardship Code are a sound attempt to make the Code more meaningful and to give it teeth. However, we have concerns that in some areas the Code is seeking to set expectations on which it will be very difficult to deliver and which could ultimately result in the Code becoming ...