UK regulators set out policy changes amid disruption

Changes announced include an additional two months for UK companies to publish their audited financial statements.

To ensure information continues to flow to investors and to support the continued functioning of the UK’s capital markets, UK regulators announced a series of actions Thursday.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) set out the changes in a joint statement.

The FRC has published guidance for companies preparing financial statements and a bulletin for auditors.

The measures set out by the regulators include:

  • Temporary relief: The FCA is giving temporary relief that will allow listed companies that need extra time an additional two months in which to publish their audited financial statements. The FCA set out more information in a Q&A.
  • Moratorium on preliminary statements of account: An end date to the voluntary moratorium on the publication of companies’ preliminary statements of account, announced on 21 March, has been confirmed. “The moratorium can end on 5 April,” the FCA said.

The FRC said the policy changes are intended to be temporary while the UK faces the extreme disruption of the coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath. 

David Rule, executive director of supervision at the FRC, said in a press statement: “The FRC is monitoring developments closely and maintaining frequent and regular contact with audit firms and other regulators. We will update our guidance as and when necessary and withdraw these special measures when circumstances return to normal.”

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how management accountants can handle challenges related to the outbreak, visit FM’s coronavirus resources page.

Oliver Rowe ( is an FM magazine senior editor.