BP’s vice president for downstream operations in Europe, Iain Conn, said his company recognised the right of the US to require listed companies to abide by its rules.
Referring to the requirement introduced in the Sarbanes Oxley Act that directors would have to certify accounts filed in the US, Conn said: ‘Our CEO would have no difficulty signing his name to a statement saying that the results we publish and the data we present to our investors is a fair record of what the company is doing.’
But he warned rules on their own would not help restore public confidence in public reporting.
‘All the companies that have failed over the last year had rules Ñ in some cases very detailed rules. The problem was that they weren’t abided by,’ Conn said.
Conn, standing in for BP’s CEO Lord Browne, complained that a failure to harmonise regulatory systems was proving costly and inefficient for multinational companies such as BP.
‘Even in the EU 15, the 15 sets of rules on company law, taxation and accounting, have not made growing, restructuring or financing of our operations easy,’ he said.
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