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Pan-European database on inspections of audit firms has been launched

UKSA welcomes this month’s launch of a common database on which European audit regulators will be able to study each other’s inspectors’ reports on the ten largest European audit firm networks: PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, EY, BDO, Grant Thornton, Nexia, Baker Tilly, Mazars and Moore Stephens. These are responsible for auditing ‘public interest entities’ (PIEs) -- banks, insurance companies and other companies of similar importance.

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Information Rights for Nominee Accounts

The UKSA policy team has been investigating use of sections 146/147 of the Companies Act. These enable investors using nominee accounts to receive information from the companies in which they invest, but only if the nominee account provider chooses to “nominate” the beneficial owner for this purpose. The great majority of stockbrokers don’t do this and UKSA is beginning to challenge their reticence.

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PRUDENCE IS MISSING

A paper prepared by the UK Shareholders’ Association on the prudence concept in accounting has been published today. Please see the attached file to read the full paper.

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Alternative Investments and Gold

With the ongoing financial problems in the World it is a more than usually uncertain time for investors. The problems in the Euro-zone continue with new crises flaring up every few months. Developed countries seem unable to reduce debt to comfortable levels. The banks continue to be dysfunctional. The UK and many other countries seem to be permanently in danger of slipping back into recession. The bond markets offer the lowest yields ever and may implode at any time.

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REJECT THE PERSIMMON REMUNERATION REPORT !

April 2013

Housebuilder Persimmon’s AGM takes place at York Racecourse on Thursday, April 18, but for the company’s management this will be no gamble. Last September, shareholders were persuaded to approve what the board has called a ‘long term incentive plan’ and now the remuneration report reveals that virtually all available grants have been made. UKSA’s detailed analysis of the LTIP shows that the so-called incentive is almost non-existent and these grants are little better than gifts.

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AN OWNERSHIP DAY FOR ALL INVESTORS

When will the government stop depriving investors of ownership rights?

March 12th was ‘Ownership Day’. This worthy initiative, hosted by parliament, was intended to encourage the active exercise of shareholder rights, by and on behalf of all investors in company shares. But one essential ingredient was missing. Savers investing through nominee accounts cannot enjoy the legal rights of ownership, because this was blocked by parliament when it passed the 2006 Companies Act.

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