RegulationCorporate GovernanceFRC mulls charging AIM groups with levy

FRC mulls charging AIM groups with levy

Watchdog may charge companies listed on AIM and PLUS stock markets with business levy

The Financial Reporting Council has proposed a business levy which will
enable it to raise a total of £4.8m and extend charges to companies listed on
AIM and PLUS.

The amount is set to go towards the Financial Reporting Council’s £4.1m in
operating costs, as well as the £700,000 it collects on behalf of the UK
business community for the International Accounting Standards Board .

The FRC has invited comments on proposals of a 10% in the minimum levy (to
£920) and a 10% increase in the market capitalisation based rates compared with
2007/08. The projected maximum fee payable by the largest listed company is
approximately £20,550 compared to £18,600 in 2007/08.

The FRC is also extending levies to a wider range of publicly traded
companies, which trade specifically on AIM and PLUS markets since they fall into
the scope of the regulator’s remit but previously did not contribute to costs.

The smaller companies will benefit from a discount of 50% compared with
companies listed on the London Stock Exchange Main Market and the majority will
pay the minimum levy at the discounted rate of £460.

The final business levy rates will be confirmed in June 2008 when the final
data on
the number and size of listed companies is announced.

FRC Chief Executive Paul Boyle said the 2008/09 draft plan and budget
identified a number of significant current risks to confidence in corporate
reporting and auditing in particular.

‘We have prepared our Plan for 2008/09 on the basis of that assessment. We
are actively helping to shape and implement UK, EU and international regulatory
requirements that impact on corporate reporting and governance in the UK.

‘We are sensitive to the need to avoid imposing unnecessary burdens and
believe that our activities represent good value for companies operating in the
UK.

‘We believe that it is right to include UK companies quoted on AIM and PLUS
markets within the scope of our business levy. They derive significant benefits
from our work and should, therefore, contribute to our costs,’ said Boyle.

Further reading:

The proposals are available on the FRC website
here.

Government to drop FRC funding

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