Non-Enforcement Led Public Oversight of Financial and Corporate Governance Disclosures and of Auditors

Non-Enforcement Led Public Oversight of Financial and Corporate Governance Disclosures and of Auditors

Kathryn Cearns, Eilis Ferran

Series number :

Serial Number: 
101/2008

Date posted :

March 01 2008

Last revised :

SSRN Share

Keywords

  • Companies • 
  • capital markets • 
  • financial disclosures • 
  • audit • 
  • public oversight • 
  • enforcement

This paper examines the UK's system for public oversight of financial and corporate governance disclosures by issuers and of auditors, taking account of the framework of European law and institutional arrangements within which that system operates.

The paper examines the role of the public bodies that are responsible for oversight and how they relate to the Financial Services Authority (FSA). By presenting a detailed picture of this part of the UK's supervisory infrastructure, the paper demonstrates that there is a more complex allocation of institutional power than the impression that may be created by the emphasis on the FSA as the UK's single financial regulator. The paper also considers strategies that the various bodies employ to promote compliance so as to explain why analysis based exclusively on formal enforcement data is liable to be misleadingly incomplete. By seeking to improve the quality of the basic data about the UK and drawing out features of the system that may not be easy to capture in objective measurements, the paper contributes to the task of addressing the crucial question: what substitutes for the very heavy reliance on public enforcement in the form of penalties and other punitive measures that is associated with the United States in other credible and effective systems of regulation and supervision?

Authors

Real name: 
Kathryn Cearns
Real name: 
Fellow, Research Member
University of Cambridge Law Faculty and Centre for Corporate and Commercial Law (3CL)