Europe Divided Over Adoption of U.S.-style Corporate Governance Regulations
European finance professionals are reluctant to follow the lead of the U.S.’s Sarbanes-Oxley Act, according to a new report by GTNews. Only 48 per cent of Western European respondents to a survey carried out by gtnews.com in December 2003 agreed that other jurisdictions should adopt similar regulations to Sarbanes-Oxley. A total of 59 per cent of global respondents agreed that Sarbanes-Oxley-style regulations should be implemented in non-U.S. jurisdictions (North America 67 per cent; Asia-Pacific 57 per cent). Respondents also welcomed corporate governance initiatives such as Sarbanes-Oxley as having a positive impact on best practice in the treasury department, but were less confident that such measures would be sufficient to restore investor confidence. Almost eight in ten (79 per cent) respondents agreed that corporate governance initiatives would benefit treasury best practice. But only 43 per cent expected Sarbanes-Oxley to restore confidence in U.S.-listed firms, including 44 per cent of North American respondents. Although a higher percentage of ROW (57 per cent) / Asia-Pacific (57 per cent) respondents asserted that SOX would restore investor confidence, the majority of treasury and finance professionals appear to believe that additional measures, such as structural changes at board level, are also required.