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ESG in Focus for Revised UK Corporate Governance Code  

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is proposing strengthening requirements on sustainability and ESG reporting in a new consultation on revisions to the UK Corporate Governance Code. The FRC’s proposed revisions include improving the function of comply-or-explain, where reporting is currently weaker, amending the Code to take account of the new Audit Committee Standard and making necessary revisions to reflect the responsibilities of the board and audit committee for sustainability and ESG reporting and appropriate assurance. The move has been welcomed by UK pension fund Railpen. Caroline Escott, Senior Investment Manager, said: “Railpen welcomes the FRC’s consultation on the UK Corporate Governance Code, and in particular its focus on raising standards on audit, risk and internal controls. Investors need to be able to trust that the financial accounts represent a true and fair view of a company’s financial health, and that a high-quality audit has taken place […] This consultation, which rightly notes the importance of good corporate governance to creating sustainable value and stable capital markets, has landed at a time when others are calling for vital investor protections – such as equal voting rights – to be rolled back. We look forward to working with the long-term investor community to make clear the vital role the Code, and broader corporate governance and investor protections, must play in enabling the UK to continue to thrive as a leading global market.” 

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