The Financial Reporting Council today published a letter from its chief executive to the Parliamentary Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, explaining how its recommendations on governance reform - expressed to the Committee as part of its corporate governance inquiry - could be implemented: see here (pdf). In the letter the FRC states its view that a code of conduct for directors, sitting alongside the codified duties in the Companies Act 2006, should be developed and that this code should cover ethical standards. The FRC should have, it is argued in the letter, responsibility for this code and statutory oversight over directors subject to the code. Enforcement might, it is suggested, take place through existing legislation on the disqualification of directors.
If implemented these proposals would represent a major expansion of the remit and work of the FRC. Moreover, enforcement by legal process is very different from the underpinning ethos of the UK Corporate Governance Code which relies on market enforcement (i.e., shareholders) through the concept of comply or explain.