Half of FTSE100 not complying with Higgs

Link: Higgs special report

Only a slim majority of the UK’s 100 biggest companies have disclosed that they are starting to deal with the code’s demands, a survey by the KPMG-sponsored Audit Committee Institute found.

Nearly half did not refer to the code at all in their annual reports or said they would not be commenting on their compliance with the code until the next financial year.

Among the chief problems were: a quarter of FTSE100 company boards do not have the correct balance of executive and non-executive directors, while many broke the rule of ensuring that the chairman does not sit on either the audit committee or remuneration committee.

The combined code needs to be adopted for reporting years beginning on or after 1 November 2003.

Timothy Copnell, director at KPMG and of the ACI, said: ‘While there is still time for many companies to make changes, compliance with the Code will clearly necessitate some fairly significant changes for many of the UK’s top listed organisations. The make up of the Board and the role and remit of the chairman are issues in particular that may need to be addressed.’

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