The FRC’s future work will be assessed through the lens of the UK’s economic growth and international competitiveness.

By Mark Austin, Chris Horton, James Inness, Anna Ngo, and Johannes Poon

On 7 November 2023, the FRC announced a significant and wide-ranging policy update which included a material change of direction in relation to how it will approach its work in the future and a significant recalibration of how it will take forward its consultation on proposed changes to the UK Corporate Governance Code. That consultation, which ran from 24 May 2023 to 13 September 2023, sought to implement certain proposals in the UK government’s paper, “Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance”. The vast majority of those proposals will no longer be taken forward.

Companies and investors must consider the impact that poor corporate culture may have on their potential to achieve an exit, in particular an IPO.

By David Berman, Richard Butterwick, Chris Horton, Robbie McLaren, Anna Ngo, Nell Perks, Catherine Campbell, and Charlotte Collins

It is now apparent that no institution or business unit, whatever its geography, industry, sector, or size, is above the negative impact of a poor culture. Culture- related issues at Uber, Sports Direct, Boeing, and others highlight the implications of getting things wrong, including financial loss, reputational issues, and damage to investor confidence.

Often defined as “the way that people within an organisation behave when no one is looking”, culture is a growing area of focus for regulators and policymakers around the world. The focus on culture has become more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic, as investors and consumers observe and judge companies based on their navigation of the crisis, particularly treatment of employees and wider societal stakeholders.

BEIS and FRC released further updates on how companies can hold meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By James Inness, Anna Ngo, and Connor Cahalane

On 14 May 2020, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) released a second Q&A in relation to proposed legislative measures to assist companies in holding their annual general meetings (AGMs) in light of the COVID-19 restrictions. This Q&A follows a 28 March announcement from Alok Sharma, the Secretary of State for BEIS, stating that the government would bring forward legislation as soon as possible to assist companies facing difficulty meeting statutory obligations to hold AGMs because of COVID-19 restrictions. This latest Q&A is to be read in conjunction with the first joint BEIS/FRC Q&A published on 17 April.