Regulation and corporate governance still top of agenda

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LONDON – Regulation and corporate governance issues remain the biggest business challenges for non-executive directors, despite growing concerns around the credit crunch, according to a new survey from Ernst & Young.

Ernst & Young’s annual corporate governance survey, conducted by Ipsos MORI among the UK’s leading 500 companies, found that 35% of respondents claimed regulation and governance will be the number one challenge facing non-executive directors in the next 12 months – followed by general economic conditions (13%), and legal challenges and accountability (13%).

Environmental issues also featured on the list for the first time as a major priority for company directors.

Gerald Russell, a senior partner at Ernst & Young, comments: “Environmental and social issues have been pushed up company agendas in recent years – pressure is mounting for organisations to demonstrate responsibility in such areas as climate change and ethical sourcing. Finance and business leaders are being called upon to provide oversight on this emerging area. It is encouraging to see they are finally waking up to the need to account for sustainability.”

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