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Policy round-up: COVID-19

The impacts of COVID-19 are having a profound effect on companies and their financial communications. Over the last few months, we have seen regulators and standard setters release pragmatic advice and guidance on corporate reporting, results announcements and AGMs. 

To keep our clients up to date, we have summarised the various pieces of guidance and regulatory updates in chronological order below which we hope you will find useful.

We will continue to update the list as more information becomes available. 

FCA, FRC and PRA
26 March COVID-19 Joint Statement
Further guidance for companies and auditors dealing with reporting issues arising from COVID-19.

Companies House
25 March: Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19
Businesses will be given an additional three months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

FCA
23 March: Corporate Reporting moratorium
All listed companies should observe a moratorium on the publication of preliminary financial statements for at least two weeks, to give due consideration to rapidly changing unprecedented events.

ICSA
17 March: Guidance on AGMs and contingency planning
Guidance about company AGMs and the impact of COVID-19 in order to support businesses and their shareholders.

FRC
16 March: Guidance on audit issues arising from the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic
List of key things auditors need to consider regarding the impact of COVID-19, ranging from the auditor’s risk assessment, how the auditor gathers appropriate audit evidence, and the assessment of going concern and prospects.

18 February: Advice to companies and auditors
Companies should consider whether to refer to the possible impact of COVID-19 on their business in their reporting of principal risks and uncertainties. Where mitigating actions can be taken, these should also be reported alongside the description of the risk itself. The carrying value of assets and liabilities might also be affected with a need to perform additional impairment tests and to assess whether leases have become onerous. 

Next steps
Managing effective communications with investors in times of uncertainty is critical. To aid our clients we have developed a short communications checklist which can be found here.

If you would like to discuss any of these points with us here at Luminous, please get in touch.

Stephen Butler, Harriet Rumball and Sophie Bradley
Luminous Investor Engagement
strategy@luminous.co.uk or Tel: 020 7101 1677

 

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Stephen Butler

As Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Stephen leads a team which provides strategic, best practice and compliance advice to clients across narrative reporting, digital, investor events, sustainability and integrated reporting.

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