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02 April 2014

ECIIA: Corporate governance reform not needed

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According to Ashley Fox MEP, European Parliament’s Rapporteur on corporate governance in financial institutions, Europe’s corporate governance regime could be improved by the better enforcement of existing regulations, rather than through the creation of additional rules.

In an interview to be published in a forthcoming edition of the ECIIA’s European Corporate Governance magazine, he says: "The European Parliament often thinks the answer to every problem is more European-level legislation, whereas in fact we need better enforcement – or the enforcement in the first place of the existing rules."
He welcomes that the European Union re-examined the role that poor corporate governance played in major financial institutions leading up to the economic and financial crisis of 2008. However, he does not believe that the lessons learned from that exercise were of necessary value to all sectors of European industry. "You have to ask yourself, did we need to rewrite the rulebook for everybody, or should we have just enforced the existing rules?", he says. "It is never a popular thing to say that we don’t need to do anything."
He is further concerned that if the European Union does not actively enforce the provisions of its latest reforms to corporate governance it may make matters worse than they were before the crisis because investors and the public could be lulled into a false sense of security.


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