BusinessCompany NewsChanges to Higgs’ requirements unlikely

Changes to Higgs' requirements unlikely

Despite a fair degree of outrage expressed by some companies, non-execs and the Tories against the new corporate governance guidelines, the body responsible for reviewing the code is unlikely to change it.

Link: Read our special report

The Sunday Times reported government sources as saying that large-scale changes were ‘unlikely because of the balanced nature of the report’.

The Financial Reporting Council is currently undertaking a 12-week consultation of the Higgs’ report, which was published last month.

Recently, both shopping centre group Liberty and Barclays have criticised the rules, while the Confederation of British Industry is understood to be canvassing the views of FTSE 100 chairmen.

But despite the protests, Sir Bryan Nicholson, chairman of the FRC said the great advantage of the code was you could ‘comply or explain’. This, he said, would be helpful for small companies who are expected to take longer to comply with the requirements on non-execs.

Criticism of the Higgs’ report has centred on the requirement that at least of half of the board be independent non-executives, as well as the need for one senior independent non-exec to be available to shareholders.

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