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

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