Investment Association criticises ‘watered down’ Queen’s Speech

Investment Association chief executive Chris Cummings has criticised the Government’s lack of commitment to corporate governance measures in yesterday’s “watered down” Queen’s Speech.

Prime Minister Theresa May has previously called for binding shareholder votes on executive pay, mandatory publication of pay ratios and advisory roles for workers on remuneration committees.

“[This week’s] Queen Speech has, perhaps unsurprisingly, seen a watering down of much of the Conservative manifesto,” says Cummings.

Alongside corporate governance reforms, the Queen’s Speech also scrapped mention of the pension triple lock, the reintroduction of Grammar schools and energy price caps, as well as the return of fox hunting and a state visit for US president Donald Trump.

“With corporate governance measures formerly front and centre of the last Government’s programme, it is unclear where the Queen’s Speech leaves measures currently underway.

“We would welcome further clarity from Government and look forward to a constructive discussion highlighting the needs of investors.”

However, Cummings says the IA will be watching with interest the content of Brexit bills and ensuring the investment industry can continue to serve its clients and customers as the UK leaves the European Union.

“This means securing an arrangement with the EU which is reciprocal, reliable and will prioritise financial stability across Europe.”

The speech announced a bill that will be introduced to repeal the European Communities Act to “provide certainty for individuals and businesses”.

The speech says: “This will be complemented by legislation to ensure that the United Kingdom makes a success of Brexit, establishing new national policies on immigration, international sanctions, nuclear safeguards, agriculture, and fisheries.”

The Queen says her Government will “seek to maintain a deep and special partnership with European allies and to forge new trading relationships across the globe”.