FRC to consult on Stewardship Code

The Financial Reporting Council has welcomed the recommendations of The Walker Report and confirmed its committment taking ownership of the proposed Stewardship Code, subject to consultation.

The FRC is set to issue a report on its own review of the impact and effectiveness of the Combined Code in early December, together with a draft revised Code which will be subject to consultation. Commenting on the Walker Report Sir Christopher Hogg, Chairman of the FRC, said: “The Combined Code on Corporate Governance and its related guidance provide a framework for all listed companies. The FRC is undertaking its own review of the Code, and as part of that process proposes to adopt the recommendations in the Walker Report that it considers after consultation are appropriate for all companies.”

According to an FRC spokesman, the final Combined Code consultation is likely to be published on or around December 1st; however the Stewardship Principles will not form part of that consultation. Instead, it is likely that a stand-alone consultation will commence in the early part of January 2010 and run for around 3 months.

Subject to the outcome of issuer-focussed part of the Code consultation, and the necessary changes to the Listing Rules, the updated Issuer Code will apply to all listed companies with a Premium Listing for financial years beginning on or after 29 June 2010. The consultation and implementation timetable for the Stewardship Code is currently under review, however it is likely that there will only be one (rather than the normal two) round of consultations due to the more developed nature of the ISC Principles. While the ISC has helped develop the Stewardship Code thus far, a full consultation will enable wider representation of views from both within the investment community and beyond.

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