Essential Corporate News – Week ending August 28, 2015

Publication August 28, 2015


Introduction

Welcome to Essential Corporate News, our weekly news service covering the latest developments in the UK corporate world.

Companies House: Further updated schedule of implementation of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015

On August 26, 2015 Companies House announced some further updates to the implementation schedule of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 which it had previously published on August 20, 2015. The additional changes are as follows:

April 2016 (previously January 2016)

  • Companies will need to keep a register of people with significant control, in preparation for the need to file this information at Companies House from 30 June 2016 (previously April 2016).

June 2016 (previously April 2016)

  • There will be a requirement to “check and confirm” the company information by filing a “confirmation statement”, and notify changes if necessary at least once every 12 months, which will replace the current obligation to file an annual return.
  • The register of people with significant control, required to be kept from April 2016 (previously January 2016), will need to be filed at Companies House.
  • Private companies will be able to opt to keep certain information on the public register only, instead of on their own statutory registers.
  • The disqualified directors regime will be updated and strengthened.
  • There will be simplification of the statement of capital which has to be filed at Companies House.

Late 2016/2017 (previously October 2016)

  • Companies will be able to deliver certain categories of optional information to the registrar.

Aside from these changes, the implementation schedule remains as previously announced on August 20, 2015.

(Companies House, The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act is here, 26.08.15)

BIS: Update on the implementation of the EU Audit Directive and Regulation

On August 26, 2015 the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) published an update on the implementation of the EU Audit Directive and regulation following Baroness Neville Rolfe’s Written Ministerial Statement of July 20, 2015, which named the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as the intended UK competent authority for the regulation of auditors.

The following consultations will take place so that the necessary reforms can take effect on June 17, 2016:

BIS consultation

BIS intends to publish a formal consultation in the next few weeks, focussing on the definition of a public interest entity (PIE), FRC powers and Professional Bodies’ responsibilities, mandatory retendering and rotation of PIE auditor appointments and other issues.

FRC consultation

The EU reforms introduce changes to auditing and ethical standards. The FRC will, in September 2015, report on the decisions it has reached in light of the responses to its preliminary consultation, and consult further on the detail of implementation. This will include types of entities in scope, prohibited non-audit services to audit clients, application of independence principles across firms’ networks, and audit firm and key audit partner rotation. At the same time, the FRC will amend existing auditing standards resulting from recent revisions to international auditing standards. The consultation will also include proposed changes to the UK Corporate Governance Code and its associated Guidance on Audit Committees. At a subsequent date, the FRC expects to consult on other issues, including possible changes to its disciplinary arrangements.

FCA and PRA consultations

The EU reforms introduce new audit committee requirements applying to all PIEs. The FCA will consult in early September 2015 on audit committee requirements applying to entities with securities admitted to trading on a regulated market, as an update to the Disclosure Rules and Transparency Rules (DTR) in the FCA handbook, which are supported by the UK Corporate Governance Code. The PRA will be consulting in mid-September 2015 on audit committee requirements for banks, building societies and insurers regardless of whether or not they have issued transferable securities. If a firm falls within both the scope of the FCA and PRA audit committee rules, the PRA intends it should comply with both sets of rules.

(BIS, Update on the implementation of the EU Audit Directive and Regulation, 26.08.15)


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