Almost half of governance practitioners in the UK are uncertain whether Britain’s model for corporate governance is fit for purpose.
A poll conducted by ICSA, the professional body for company secretaries, found that 45% could only say “maybe” when asked if governance in the UK was working; 16% said it wasn’t; while 39% said it was.
Peter Swabey, policy and research director at ICSA: The Governance Institute, said: “There is always room for improvement and regular reviews should take place. There will always be some who bring governance into disrepute.
“To put things into context, however, and as one of the poll’s respondents so rightly says, we hear a great deal about corporate failings and scandals but nothing about the overwhelming majority of companies that get it right most of the time and that is a shame.”
The research, conducted in association with recruitment firm The Core Partnership, found that those who were unsure of governance believe there are “too many conflicting pressures and influences on boards” for the governance system to work properly. They also believe there are “unrealistic expectations of what boards can achieve with very limited time.”
The top three priorities for improvement among respondents were remuneration, simplification and improving the governance of private companies.