31 countries agree to share tax data as Google comes under fire for its deal in the UK

An agreement has been reached between 31 countries for the automatic exchange of information on the taxes paid by, and the economic activity of, multinational businesses. This increase in transparency between countries should help tax authorities understand if multinationals are actually paying what is considered a fair rate of tax in the countries where they do business and make profits.… Read the rest

World Economic Forum: Action required on Climate Change deal and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

This year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos gave political and business leaders an opportunity to take stock of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement (COP21) agreed last year.

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, told participants said now it is time to act.

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FRC reviews KPMG’s audit of HBOS

The UK’s accounting regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), is to consider whether the accountancy firm, KPMG, or any individuals require further investigation following a review of the report, published last November by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority, into the failure of HBOS plc.

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Stelios Haji-Ioannou opposes easyHotel’s directors’ remuneration report

The founder of the Easy group of companies, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, used his 49% stake in easyHotel, to vote against the company’s directors’ remuneration report leading to a majority opposing the resolution to approve the report at its recent AGM. Votes on the other resolutions were withheld.… Read the rest

FSB’s Climate Disclosures Task Force members revealed

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has announced the members of an industry-led Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which will be chaired  by Michael Bloomberg. The Task Force was announced last month, as reported by Manifest.

The Task Force will develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial disclosures for use by companies in providing information to lenders, insurers, investors and other stakeholders.… Read the rest

Next forced to call shareholder meeting following technical breach of Companies Act

The board of retailer Next has been forced to call a general shareholder meeting next month after finding a technical infringement of the Companies Act 2006  in respect of the payment of the dividends.

The issue relates to the dividends paid in February 2014 and three dividend payouts in 2015.… Read the rest

Oxfam calls for action on tax havens to reduce wealth inequality

As the global rich and powerful gathered for the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, Oxfam released a report which it claimed showed  62 people own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population.

An Economy for the 1%, shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population – 3.6 billion people – has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010.… Read the rest

Ethical certification schemes fail to stop labour and environmental abuses

Current ethical audits of clothing and other manufacturers are not effective and tend to reinforce existing business practices, while also weakening governmental oversight, according to a new study by Sheffield University’s Political Economy Research Institute.

The report’s authors argue that the audit regime is ‘working’ for corporations, but failing workers and the planet.… Read the rest

World Economic Forum: Women could still lose out in the economy of the future

The gender gap could widen in the economy of the future according to a World Economic Forum report published as global business and political leaders gathered for its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Among the topics discussed at the meeting was the economy and society of the future.… Read the rest

New York City Pension Funds continue push for improved shareholder rights

The New York City Pension Funds have filed new shareholder resolutions in their continued campaign to get investors the right to nominate a director to the boards of US companies.

The Boardroom Accountability Project, which was launched in November 2014, has already seen 115 companies compared with six originally, adopt a bylaw which gives shareholders owning 3 percent of a company for three or more years the right to list their director candidates on a company’s ballot – known as proxy access bylaws.… Read the rest

Call for change of approach towards Chief Executive pay

Despite recent policy changes by the last UK Coalition Government chief executive (CEO) pay has still been rising and, according to a recent report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, current executive reward practice is based on misplaced assumptions about the motivating force of money.… Read the rest

Bank of England proposes tougher bonus rules

The Bank of England is proposing to strengthen the remuneration requirements on buy-outs of variable remuneration for those regarded as material risk takers at banks, building societies and designated investment firms regulated by the Prudential Regulatory Authority. These proposals are, the Bank of England said, an important addition to the current remuneration rules which seek to ensure greater alignment between risk and reward, discourage excessive risk-taking and short-termism and encourage more effective risk management.… Read the rest