News story

New review into corporate Britain

Vince Cable announces a review into corporate governance and economic short-termism.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Dr Cable said the aim of the review was to put responsible shareholders back in the driving seat of the UK economy:

“We will look at the economic impact of takeovers, shareholder responsibility, corporate incentives and pay- all the factors that can help us build a framework founded on long-term economic logic.

“Short-termism and shareholder disengagement are an increasing problem for our economy. Short-term investors and financial gamblers value a quick buck above all else, for example, by driving company boards into accepting takeover bids that make no economic sense.

“We need shareholders that act like long-term owners, alive to the risks of instability and the broader consequences of how the companies they own behave.”

The Government will launch a comprehensive consultation in the autumn. Areas it may cover include:

  • What drives market short-termism?
  • Do boards set out their long-term objectives sufficiently clearly?
  • How can we encourage shareholders to become more engaged in the company’s future?
  • Do shareholders have sufficient opportunity to vote on takeover bids?
  • Do target boards do enough to consider whether the bid represents value for their shareholders in the long-term?
  • Does the way in which directors are paid unduly encourage takeover activity?

BIS press notice

BIS policy: corporate governance

Published 22 September 2010