Mark Hynes - thoughts on corporate disclosure

Opinions on changing rules, changing best practices, and their effect on investor relations officers.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Issuers’ websites at risk of non compliance

The posting of regulated information on a company’s website is a crucial requirement of the Listing Rules, and potentially the changes in the Companies Bill currently going through Parliament. So it is concerning to note research out this week showing that a significant number of corporate websites fail in their broader legal obligations.

The websites of some of the largest FTSE 100 companies are “a compliance nightmare” according to research from vendor Data Protection Consulting.

Of the 99 websites checked, compliance breaches were found on 76, with half that number having 2 or more breaches. Failures ranged from failure to mention identification data such as registration number, full legal name to absence of privacy policy and cookies management.

Since many of these are required under the Companies Act or the EU’s Electronic Communications regulations, this is of concern.

But is this non compliance simply the tip of the iceberg? Transparency Matters suspects that this non-compliance will come as little surprise to those who regularly use companies’ websites every day to find IR data.