It’s interesting to compare and contrast the approach taken by securities regulators in relation to complaints and investigations. Last week the Swiss regulator, SIX Exchange Regulation, announced that it had begun an investigation into possible breaches of the Directive on Ad hoc Publicity and the Directive on Information relating to Corporate Governance by UBS AG. The investigation relates to possible breaches by UBS AG of the provisions on ad hoc publicity in the period from 2007 to the end of 2008 as well as possible breaches of the Corporate Governance Directive in connection with the bank’s 2008 annual report.
According to the announcement: “Investigatory proceedings will continue for an indefinite period. SIX Exchange Regulation will announce its findings, although no information will be provided while the proceedings are ongoing.”
The SIX Exchange Regulation website provides the reader with a detailed menu of information relating to its rules and their approach to enforcement. Contrast this with the approach taken by the Irish Stock Exchange in relation to Manifest’s complaint about Ryanair’s compliance with the Combined Code. While it acknowledged receipt of our complaint, the exchange has neither confirmed nor denied any regulatory investigations.
As Treasury ministers around the world look for solutions to improve market confidence it would be helpful for shareholders to know that their concerns about compliance were being handled on a similar basis. At the very least wouldn’t it be sensible for listing authorities and stock exchanges to create a central clearing house of regulatory proceedings and take a common approach to dealing with investor complaints?