UK Institute of Directors publishes ethical code after corporate scandals

The Institute of Directors, a membership community for directors in the UK which has about 20’000 members (hereinafter “IoD”) has published on 20 June 2022 a new policy paper, A voluntary code of conduct for directors, calling on the UK government to commission a high-level working group that shall draft of a voluntary code to reflect and embed the expectations of society with regards to the business community. According to the IoD’s press release, Britain’s company directors should sign up to a code of conduct to improve behaviour in boardrooms after high-profile corporate collapses, such as builder Carillion, P&O Ferries and retailer BHS.

The purpose of the code would be not only to improve behaviour in boardrooms after these high-profile corporate collapses but shall also include a commitment to cut a company’s carbon footprint. “There is a risk that each new corporate scandal or collapse will renew pressure on government to impose prescriptive regulatory obligations relating to directorship,” said Roger Barker, the IoD’s director of policy and governance. The plan would also supplement the existing corporate governance code administered by regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), and general legal duties under UK company law according to Reuters.

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