ACT Stands By Higgs And Smith Reports
The Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) has issued a statement urging the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) to retain the main thrusts of the Higgs and Smith reports. The reports are part of the systematic review of corporate governance being undertaken in the US and Europe in light of recent corporate failures. There would be concern among ACT members if material changes were to made in the face of recent adverse comments, a statement said. However, the organisation has proposed a delay in implementation to permit the next draft to be released for consultation. The ACT maintained: ‘We believe that the FRC should seek to take constructive comments on the proposals generally, provided they do not re-open the main conclusions of the reviews. A robust attitude to preserving the main conclusions is desirable.’ The ACT did, however, support in the main the ICAEW’s April 1 draft comments urging that the code be published with the balance more on the principles and less on the detail. The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) welcomed many of the proposed changes but warned against others. It expressed support for the need for the UK to review all aspects of its financial regulation and corporate governance arrangements following the high profile corporate collapses in the United States last year. However, it refused to pledge support to the notion, included in the Combined Code, that a chief executive cannot become the chairman of the same company.