The BPIF has issued a letter of response to recent trade and national press reports that the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is calling for companies to save money and improve online access and transparency by not printing hard copies of their annual report & accounts.
The FRC made the statement in a recent discussion document, and BPIF Chief Executive Michael Johnson has responded with a letter to FRC Director of Corporate Reporting Ian Wright, claiming that the BPIF is “dismayed” at the claims and takes “great exception to his statement”.
In addition to doing nothing to improve communication between companies and shareholders, Michael said the publication of reports online would do nothing to help the environment, with the costs of printing off the document also being simply transferred to shareholders.
Not only are reports harder to read on screen, Michael also stated that many shareholders bring a printed copy whit them to meetings as a point of reference, and indeed prefer to receive the printed version.
Michael also stated that the paper industry was now, “one of the great success stories of modern day recycling, rather than being seen as an enemy of the environment that it is often made out to be.”
The Telegraph newspaper published the story on 8 January, claiming that the UK Shareholders Association had vowed to fight proposals by the FRC to abolish the requirement for companies to produce hard copies of their annual reports.