BusinessCompany NewsSarbox costs driving UK plcs to flee US markets

Sarbox costs driving UK plcs to flee US markets

Large UK companies are considering moves to delist from US stock exchanges because of the escalating cost of complying with new US corporate governance rules, according to Digby Jones, director general of the Confederation of British Industry.

Link: Sarbox to cost UK corporates £120m

Jones has accused US lawmakers of a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to the series of corporate scandals that has resulted into strict and costly compliance processes, The Daily Telegraph has reported.

Last week Accountancy Age revealed that Uk plcs listed in the US could be paying as much as £120m collectively to deal with the tide of regulation that has been launched by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The London Stock Exchange also told Accountancy Age that it expected a surge in delistings by companies fleeing theincreasing burden of regulatory compliance on US markets.

Jones’ comments following those of the BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland yesterday (Tuesday) who said complying with the Sarbanes Oxley Act was costing the telecommunications giant £10m.

‘That’s a lot of money and it’s not well spent – I think they’ve just gone too far,’ said Sir Christopher.

Jones said: ‘I’ve got 72 members who have listings in the US and the biggest thing that annoys them is that America came up with this law in a very knee-jerk fashion and did not consult in any way with companies outside the US.

‘Many of my members will say publicly “we’ve just got to get on with it and comply with the Act” but privately they are telling me it is increasingly difficult to raise capital in the US and that many of them are thinking of de-listing from the US altogether.’

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