Foreign companies hit by new rules

Link: Pitt to get Sarbanes-Oxley Act rolling

Despite intensive lobbying by non-US business leaders including Britain’s US ambassador, the rules, which will come into force tomorrow, were passed unanimously by the SEC.

The rules, part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Bill signed by President Bush last month, represent an increase in the SEC’s ‘extra-terratorial’ powers and, according to the Confederation of British Industry, could hit the recruitment of non-execdutive directors in the UK.

According to Digby Jones, CBI director-general, the increase in personal liability for UK directors could discourage directors taking on any additional risk.

But public comments from many UK companies with a US listing suggest there are few concerns over the additional reporting burden.

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