Kay Report to call for end to quarterly reporting

by Nick Paler

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23 Jul 2012

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A GOVERNMENT-BACKED REPORT on the UK's financial services industry is expected to call for an end to the requirement for companies to issue quarterly updates.

John Kay, a professor at the London School of Economics, will warn that the culture of "short-termism" is hurting Britain's economy, reports our sister publication Investment Week.

Kay's report – due out today – will also criticise remuneration policies at companies which reward short-term performance.

As such, he is understood to be calling for an end to quarterly updates from listed companies, with a return to half-yearly updates instead.

Kay has criticised the breakdown of trust between the financial world and the rest of the populace.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "A culture of trust relationships, which is actually central to making financial services work, has been displaced by essentially a culture of transactions and trading."

He explained that the financial markets were dominated by too many middlemen, and confirmed that his recommendations may mean job losses in the City.

"Over the last 10 years, companies have done OK, people in the financial sector have made a lot of money, and savers have done pretty badly," he said.

His comments come after an unprecedented backlash by institutional shareholders against the pay policies of top companies.

The 'shareholder spring' has already caused boards to review planned bonus packages, and Kay's report is expected to provide more impetus for further change.

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