Financial Regulatory Forum

US SEC cracks down on how companies are governed

Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – U.S. companies will have to disclose their compensation practices and board members’ qualifications under rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

The SEC voted 4-1 to change how companies govern themselves and provide more information to investors, who have criticized lax boards and lavish executive compensation.

“Good corporate governance is a system in which those who manage a company … are effectively held accountable for their decisions and performance,” SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said at an open meeting.

Amid the worst financial crisis in decades, shareholders have voiced frustration over how companies performed and executives are paid.

Shareholders have taken a more active role in how their companies are governed, pushing for say on pay and seeking an easier way to influence the composition of the corporate board.

U.S. tax agency to randomly audit 6,000 firms on employment tax issues

By Kim Dixon
WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – U.S. tax authorities will start to audit 6,000 randomly selected companies to focus on employment tax issues ranging from executive compensation to fringe benefits, Internal Revenue Service officials said.

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EU makes overture to U.S. on audit inspections

BRUSSELS, Sept 11 (Reuters) – The European Union made an overture to the United States on Friday in a bid to avert transatlantic tit-for-tat inspections of auditors that would cause unease and red tape for the sector.

The EU’s executive European Commission said it tabled a proposal to introduce mutual recognition of auditing inspections with Canada, Japan and Switzerland, and added it would like to include the U.S. in the plan.

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