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Former MEP says ‘fatally flawed’ FRC should be shut down

first_imgA leading critic of the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has called for the audit and corporate governance watchdog to be shut down. Sharon Bowles, a member of the UK parliament’s upper chamber and former MEP, told IPE: “The FRC is fatally flawed in the way it was set up and has been operating, and distance needs to be put between that culture and the future regulator.“This is most likely to be effective if the FRC is wound up and a comprehensive, fully accountable companies regulator set up that is not based on trade association relationships and which follows fully all the principles of public life.”Her intervention in the debate over the future of the FRC came as the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) invited the public to submit evidence to its inquiry over the regulator’s future. Bowles’ comments added to growing support for a major shake-up at the watchdog. In March, the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum said the FRC should be wound up.Sir John Kingman, who is leading the inquiry, said: “The FRC’s work is critical to financial markets, the economy and public confidence. Trust, quality and credibility are the questions at the heart of [the] consultation.“The review wants to hear the widest possible range of views on how the regulatory system can best deliver for the future.”Among the areas covered by the inquiry are the FRC’s legal status, its relationship with government and its handling of conflicts of interest.Interested parties have until 6 August to make their views known.Under-pressure regulatorThe FRC has come under fire in recent years over claims that it was too close to the audit profession that it regulates, and that it had failed to take timely action regarding high-profile corporate collapses.During a parliamentary hearing into the collapse of services group Carillion in January, politicians accused the regulator of being “toothless”, “useless” and “ineffective”.FRC chief executive Stephen Haddrill argued in the regulator’s defence that it needed greater powers in order to address the perceived shortcomings.The Kingman inquiry has been taking evidence from interested parties since April, but in its latest call for evidence opened its doors to the wider public for input. Bowles said she had already met Sir John to give evidence and had urged him during their meeting to take more views into account.As for the likely outcome of the review, she added: “It is too soon to know how the Kingman review will go but the questions are comprehensive.”She also warned against shying away from wide-ranging reform of the watchdog.“When solutions are asked for, there is always the risk of the status quo being preserved because there is no single solution – even if the status quo is by no means given majority support,” Bowles said.Last month, Sir John unveiled the membership of an 11-member panel of experts and accounting insiders to assist him during the review process.An FRC spokesperson told IPE: “We welcome this independent review of the FRC’s governance, impact and powers. It is an opportunity to assess our past and our future.“The board is determined to meet public expectations and support UK business in attracting global investment for the long term.“We hope interested stakeholders will respond to Sir John Kingman’s call for evidence.”last_img read more

Police detain possible immigrant boat landing near Palm Beach

first_imgThe Palm Beach police department responded to the area of Bahama Lane on Saturday morning after receiving a report of a possible immigrant boat landing.Police say 9 immigrants were detained and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol agents.last_img

Sun Devils and Ducks take stage

first_imgNot all midseason Pac-12 games are created equal. Thursday night’s matchup pitting No. 3 Oregon against Arizona State for a 6 p.m. clash at Sun Devil Stadium on ESPN brims with implications for the conference, generally, and USC, particularly.To this point, Oregon and Arizona State are two of three teams that remain undefeated in Pac-12 play — Oregon State is the other. Though early, Arizona State at the moment sits ahead of No. 10 USC in first place in the Pac-12 South division standings.Hostile environment · Sun Devil Stadium is not hospitable to visiting teams. In 2011, USC lost 43-22 at Arizona State for its first road game. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanThe initial Bowl Championship Series standings’ major deviation from the Associated Press poll is that it places Florida at No. 2 instead of Oregon. The switch occurred because the computer polls — which compose one-third of the BCS formula — were largely unimpressed with Oregon’s schedule thus far, computing an average ranking of 6.5, with the Wolfe computer even ranking Oregon No. 10.The Ducks will look to post a quality win over the Sun Devils — whom they beat last year at Autzen Stadium 41-27, improving their national perception with likely their stiffest challenge to date.Any doubts swirling around Oregon stem from the team’s relatively weak non-conference schedule to open the season, in which it played Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech. Moreover, the Ducks have only played one road game — against Washington State at CenturyLink Field, where the crowd was predominantly comprised of Ducks fans.Sun Devil Stadium’s raucous crowd can give a signal caller fits when trying to communicate the cadence, as then-junior quarterback Matt Barkley learned last season. Oregon redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota will have to adjust to his first career appearance on the road in a completely hostile environment.Mariota’s worst career start occurred in the game at CenturyLink Field, where he threw two of his five interceptions this season.If USC wishes to re-enter the BCS title chase, the Trojans likely want Oregon to win, so the Ducks’ resume is as impressive as possible when they visit the Coliseum on Nov. 3 for the most anticipated Pac-12 game of the season.On the other hand, a victory for Arizona State would the put the Sun Devils squarely in the driver’s seat in the division if they win out, perhaps even allowing them one slip-up if USC suffers another loss in Pac-12 play — a distinct possibility with powerhouse Oregon, dangerous Arizona and rival UCLA still left on the docket.The Sun Devils’ surprising start under new coach Todd Graham is turning heads, but they have yet to register a signature victory that would convince all pollsters to place them within the top 25, as they are only ranked in one poll: No. 24 in the Coaches’.  Arguably, Arizona State’s most impressive victory so far was a 37-7 shellacking of Utah at home.Quarterback Taylor Kelly and defensive tackle Will Sutton — two relative unknowns for the Sun Devils entering the year — are both in the thick of the races for Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively.Kelly leads the Pac-12 in passing efficiency, throwing for 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Sutton, though slightly undersized at 6-foot-1 and 267 pounds, has been a revelation, registering 8.5 sacks.Both teams will look to seize the national spotlight and wrest control of their Pac-12 postseason fates Thursday night.last_img read more