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UK Stewardship Code needs greater transparency on investment decisions

Greater emphasis on organisational purpose, values and culture, and the inclusion of ESG issues are steps in the right direction.

29 March, London – The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association), the unified voice of The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), welcomes the revised UK Stewardship Code. 

The Association is particularly pleased to see a new emphasis on organisational purpose, values and culture, and the inclusion of material environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements. The Association views this revised Code as a positive step towards providing more accountability and transparency for the modern business world. 

However, the Association would have liked to see further developments on the integration of the Stewardship Code provisions with investment decisions and accompanying reporting requirements, particularly if these decisions directly impact long-term corporate performance. It also remains concerned with the lack of emphasis on the necessary links between the Code and business investment decision-making processes.

Andrew Harding FCMA, CGMA, Chief Executive – Management Accounting – at the Association commented:  

“When the Stewardship Code was first published in 2010, it was a pioneering step in shaping the future of the UK's overall corporate governance framework, and we recognise the positive impact it has had to date.

“On the whole, the proposed changes to the Code are welcome, but we would like to see more focus on the area of investment decisions. Recent corporate scandals have highlighted the need for greater transparency and accountability in this area. 

“As public trust in business continues to be low, now is an opportune time to refresh and refocus our standards to support sustainable business practices, focus on long-term value and strengthen accountability to benefit investors, society and help boost sustainable economic growth.”

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Media contacts

Sarah Freytag-Traut
Lead Manager, Communications and Campaigns – The Association
Email: sarah.freytag-traut@aicpa-cima.com
Tel: 07713 395 556

Steve Wellard
Director, Reputation and Communications – The Association 
Email: steve.wellard@aicpa-cima.com
Tel: 07964 679 153