In the UK, the fields of corporate and commercial law are subject to new amendments. The following is an overview of new reforms, and to what extent the corporate law will be updated.
Corporate transparency and financial offense
The UK authority plans to implement an updated Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill. This will complement the Economic Crime Act 2022, which was adopted this year, however, most parts of which are yet to be entered into effect.
The law in part is a following the Government’s White Paper on bettering corporate transparency in the country. New steps to be undertaken will encompass granting the Registrar of Companies legal power to check, remove or decline data provided to or on the UK’s companies register, obligatory identity verification for executives and persons with substantial control of UK entities, etc. The law would also give the mandate to capture and recover crypto assets faster by establishing a civil forfeiture power.
Changed regulations on the monetary markets
Law on services and markets related to finances would amend financial services laws adapted from the EU and change them with new rules developed for the UK. It would also change the terms regulating the UK’s capital markets to attract investments, as well as create enhanced protections for investors and consumers of financial goods.
A new law proposing new conditions for conducting audits would finally set up the long-expected ARGA, which will change the FRC as the UK’s first regulator of audit, financial and non-financial reporting, and corporate governance.
The law will create a mechanism for administering shared audits, in which market challengers would take a part of the work on large-scale audits. The large private companies will have greater reporting obligations, for example, an obligation to provide yearly non-financial and sustainability data statements.
A new Data Reform Bill would make a clearer regulative climate for personal data application that will attract responsible innovation and speed up scientific progress by making easier the rules around research. Particularly, the reform would allow information to be shared more effectively between public structures to better the delivery of public services, along with medicine and security.
New rules for digital markets
A new Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill would introduce new rules for digital markets. It would improve consumer safeguarding by banning fake online reviews, tackling “subscription traps” designed by auto-renewals, and bettering the quality of nontraditional dispute resolution mechanisms for users.
New rules after Brexit
The authority plans to introduce a new Brexit Freedoms Bill to enable laws inherited from the EU to be changed more easily using secondary legislation. It would also cancel the supremacy of adapted EU law as it still applies in the UK.
Also, there were captured aspects of acquiring shares through anonymous order books, document charges, BVCA 2021/2022 annual review, changes to vertical block exemptions confirmed, and private sector carbon transition plans.
What is a transition plan?
The Transition Plan Taskforce (for short, TPT) is now looking for proof to help with developing these mechanisms. Particularly, it is asking for views on the points below-listed.
- Whether market participants agree with the proposed definition of a transition plan and any potential definitions.
- The scenario of use for transition plans.
- The fields for which the TPT should design bespoke transition plan templates and the order in which it should prioritize those fields.
- The scope in which it should analyze problems beyond a firm’s contribution to economy-wide decarbonization, and any potential challenges between entity-level and economy-wide decarbonization purposes.
- Which financial and non-financial frameworks and processes the TPT should take into account.
- What issues do small and medium-sized enterprises see while preparing or using transition plans and how the proposed mechanisms can address these issues.
- Whether the 3 principles for transition plans, namely: aligning with economy-wide net-zero transition; focusing on concrete actions that emphasize the near term, and transparent and periodic reporting and verification are workable.
- Whether there are any extra elements in the framework TPT should take into consideration, and whether any elements entail potential substantial barriers to execution.
The TPT has set a deadline for responses by 13 July 2022 using a feedback form. Now it is working on the implementation of corporate law updates.