FRC Issues New Governance Standards for Listed Companies
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has introduced changes to the UK Corporate Governance Code – formerly known as the Combined Code – to help company boards become more effective and more accountable to their shareholders.
Changes include a clearer statement of the board’s responsibilities relating to risk, a greater emphasis on the importance of getting the right mix of skills and experience on the board, and a recommendation that all directors of FTSE 350 companies be put up for re-election every year.
Introducing the new code, Baroness Hogg, the FRC chairman, said: “Under my predecessor’s wise leadership, the FRC responded to the financial crisis by examining the questions it raised about corporate governance and thoroughly reviewing the code. We have now reconfirmed its core principles and the flexibility provided by the ‘comply or explain’ approach.”
“The changes we have made are designed to reinforce board quality, focus on risk and accountability to shareholders. In return, we look to see a step up in responsible engagement by shareholders under the Stewardship Code, on which we have consulted and aim to publish by the end of June.”
Changes to the code include:
The UK Corporate Governance Code sets out standards of governance for listed companies. Companies are required either to follow the code or explain how else they are acting to promote good governance. The new edition of the code will apply to financial years beginning on or after 29 June 2010.