US SEC Chairman comments on accounting by foreign registrants

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08 Oct 2002

In Remarks delivered at the Financial Times' Conference on Regulation and Integration of the International Capital Markets (London, 8 October 2002), US SEC Chairman Harvey L.

Pitt commented on accounting and other standards to be followed by foreign companies that trade in the US capital markets:

In implementing Sarbanes-Oxley, we will be fully faithful to its letter and spirit, and we will also be fully mindful of the impact of regulation on both U.S. and global markets. In doing so we will continue a tradition that we have been following for many decades. Our philosophy is simple - U.S. persons invest around the globe, and therefore the interests of U.S. investors and U.S. markets are best served if foreign companies trade in our markets and meet our disclosure and accounting standards. I am well aware that there are those, especially outside the United States, who believe that recent events call our disclosure and accounting rules into question. However, I am confident, first, that our standards best serve the needs of our investors, and, second, that following the improvements that we have made and are in the process of making, including those mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, our standards are and will be the equal of any, and the standard for many....

We intend to implement fully the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for all companies, foreign and domestic. That is our mandate. And, as we write our rules to implement the Act, foreign companies can expect that many of the new rules will apply to them. But we are prepared to consider how we can fulfill the mandate of the Act through our rulemaking and interpretive authority in ways that accommodate the home country requirements and regulatory approaches of the home jurisdiction of our foreign registrants and potential registrants.

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