EC urged to stay out of Sarbanes-Oxley dogfight
Peter Wyman, president of the ICAEW, has urged the European Commission to leave it to national governments to try and win concessions from tough US corporate governance laws.
A report in today’s FT said Wyman believed individual countries should be able to negotiate concessions with the Securities & Exchange Commission, and said political pressure would prevent the US granting a blanket concession for all firms in the European Union.
Under proposal. the US plans to force all firms that audit UK companies to list with the new accountancy watchdog, the Public Accounting Oversight Board, and thus be under its scrutiny.
The UK has argued that its corporate governance laws and accounting standards already meet the principles set out in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was hastily established following the accounting scandals of Enron and WorldCom.
Efforts by the EC to win a blanket exemption have been hurt by the recent accounting scandal at Dutch grocer Ahold.