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FRC publishes research report on changes in remuneration reporting

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17 May 2021

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published the results of new research carried out by the FRC and the University of Portsmouth. The report examined the remuneration policy disclosures of a sample of FTSE 350 companies during periods both before and after the introduction of the UK Corporate Governance Code 2018 ( ‘the Code’).

The key findings of the research suggest that there are improvements in terms of the quantity of information reported such as:

  • Companies are now disclosing more information about engagement with the shareholders and, to a lesser extent, the wider workforce.
  • Companies are now disclosing more information about alignment with long-term shareholder interests.
  • The Code requirements pertaining to directors’ remuneration have had a positive impact on corporate disclosure practice.
  • The extent of disclosure for all Provisions and Principles related to remuneration policies in 2019 has increased compared with 2017.

However, research findings also highlight lack of details on the application of the Code principles and provisions. These observations include:

  • No major changes in the extent of disclosure in 2019 compared with 2017 for some sub-items, for example the provisions that would enable the company to recover and/or withhold sums or share awards.
  • Although a number of companies reported risks that related to excessive awards, most of these companies failed to explain their plans to mitigate these risks.
  • While most companies now show evidence of linking individual awards with the delivery of strategy and long-term performance, fewer companies provided evidence that they did not reward poor performance in their remuneration policies.
  • While the majority of companies show evidence of clarity in their engagement with shareholders, this was lower when discussing their engagement with the workforce.
  • Many companies used non-financial KPIs in executive pay formulas, but often did not explain why these were chosen or how they were formulated.

The press release and the full report is available on the FRC website. 

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