PracticeAuditGovernment senses compromise on Sarbanes

Government senses compromise on Sarbanes

The UK government now believes the SEC could allow 'exclusions and flexibility' within the new US corporate governance legislation for non-US companies and auditors.

Link: Pitt seeks compromise over Sarbanes-Oxley

Trade minister Melanie Johnson told AccountancyAge.com that there was now the impression that the US, and the SEC in particular, was prepared to look at and solve the problems caused by the extra-territoriality of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

‘The mood music is clearly that co-operation is possible, so it may be possible to resolve the difficulties that could arise,’ Johnson said.

The minister also played down any possible trade off between EU directives and US legislation over extra-territorial regulation.

‘I don’t think we are into trading on this – we’re into a sensible adult discussion,’ she said.

Earlier, Johnson had told delegates at the ICAEW conference in Brussels, of the shock caused by the financial scandals in the US.

‘It’s not just the scale of the losses involved; it’s the corporate practices that allowed those losses to occur that have shaken confidence in capital markets and hugely damaged the reputation of business across the globe,’ she said.

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