Thursday, 16 July 2009

Walker snippets

Recommendation 22
Voting powers should be exercised, fund managers and other institutional investors should disclose their voting record, and their policies in respect of voting should be described in statements on their websites or in other publicly accessible form.

TUC response:

Responding to the publication today (Thursday) of Sir David Walker's interim review of corporate governance in banks and financial institutions, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'There is much to welcome in this review, in particular the call for more voting disclosure by fund managers and investors which will help pension trustees and unions to find out how workers' pensions are being invested.

'We support moves to curb the short-termism and excessive risk taking behaviour that bankers' remuneration has encouraged. But by focusing solely on risk, the review has not considered the wider problems with bankers' pay. The growing gap between executive and employee pay has a damaging impact on staff engagement and has created a new class of super-rich that float free from society.

'It is clear from some of the decisions approved by non-executive directors in the run up to the financial crash that a greater understanding of banking is needed. But many experienced bankers also showed terrible judgement. People from outside the world of finance must be brought on to company boards to ensure that the consumer voice is heard and avoid repeating the groupthink that contributed to the financial crash.

'The proposal for new Principles of Stewardship, ratified by the Financial Report Council, will help set a higher benchmark for standards of shareholder engagement.'

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