Westminster Business Forum

Next steps for the financial reporting and corporate governance powers in the UK - accountability, stewardship and the future for regulation

Morning, Thursday, 28th February 2019

Central London


This timely conference will consider next steps for financial reporting and corporate governance powers in the UK - looking at accountability, stewardship and the future for boardroom regulation.

Delegates will discuss the likely implications of proposals set out in the CMA’s update paper on its review of the audit sector, which has raised serious competition concerns and has proposed legislation to separate auditing and consultancy services, increase the accountability of audit committee chairs and introduce a joint audit regime designed to increase competition outside the Big Four. 

They will also consider further options for the final market study including how proposed measures will impact on the practicalities of the auditing processes, the ability of UK audit firms to audit international companies and the additional cost of joint auditing for businesses.

The conference comes as the Government launches an independent review of auditing standards which will examine appropriate standards for auditors with the terms of reference for the review expected to be published in the early 2019.   

It also follows the publication of the final report of the independent review into the purpose and role of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) which has proposed the disbanding of the FRC and its replacement with a new strengthened watchdog.

Attendees will assess the FRC’s future role in safeguarding the UK’s business environment, its effectiveness and increased accountability to Government, as well as its future powers in relation to regulatory action - and the impact on businesses and shareholders.

Planned sessions will also examine the Council’s current work, as it consults on reforms to its UK Stewardship Code, looking at the standards companies should adhere to, and making clear overall expectations and responsibilities of those in the investment chain.

We also expect discussion on transparency and enforcement, assessing changes to reporting duties and the implications for non-compliant companies, as well as the impact more widely on business costs and competitiveness.

Further discussion is expected on reforms to corporate governance considering the impact of Government’s corporate governance reforms, as well as measures affecting private companies following the launch of the Wates Corporate Governance Principles.

The agenda also looks at latest thinking on the positon of under-represented groups at board level and throughout companies following the BEIS Select Committee report on closing the gender pay gap, next steps for developing a diverse talent pipeline, and the implementation of measures such as flexible working and unconscious bias training.

Keynote Speaker

Anthony Appleton

Director, Accounting and Reporting Policy, Financial Reporting Council

Keynote Speakers

Anthony Appleton

Director, Accounting and Reporting Policy, Financial Reporting Council

Senior speaker confirmed from Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


Jonathan Djanogly MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Governance Group

Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted

Non-Executive Director and Chair, Regulatory Advisory Group, London Stock Exchange Group


Janet Williamson

Senior Policy Officer, TUC

Professor Alex Edmans

Professor of Finance, London Business School

John Hunter

Director, UK Shareholders’ Association

Dominic Rossi

Senior Advisor, Fidelity International

Lois Robson

Principal Policy Advisor, CBI

Catherine Howarth

Chief Executive, ShareAction

Maggie McGhee

Executive Director, Governance, ACCA

Konstantinos Sergakis

Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), University of Glasgow