The FCA and other regulatory bodies are to allow listed companies an additional two months to file their accounts due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
All companies can also request a 3 month delay in filing annual accounts at Companies House. Those citing issues around Coronavirus will be automatically granted an extension via a ‘fast-tracked process.’
In a joint statement today, the FCA, FRC and PRA announced a series of measures to support UK companies struggling to factor in the impact of the virus on the information they provide to investors and official bodies.
The FCA called the moves “temporary relief for listed companies facing the challenges of corporate reporting during the coronavirus crisis.”
This temporary relief will allow listed companies which need extra time to complete their audited financial statements an additional 2 months to publish them.
Under the temporary relief companies will only need to publish financial statements within 6 months of their year-end, rather than 4 months.
All companies can utilise a three month extension to filing annual accounts at Companies House.
The FCA also announced that the moratorium on the publication of preliminary statements of account will end on 5 April. On 21 March 2020, the FCA published a statement requesting companies observe a moratorium of at least 2 weeks on the publication of their preliminary statements of account to allow companies more time to assess the impact of the virus. It says this has worked well.
In the joint statement issued today the bodies said: “The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is an unprecedented situation but it is important to recognise that, while the reduction in activity associated with Coronavirus could be sharp and large, it is likely to rebound sharply when social distancing measures are lifted.
“In addition, in the intervening period, while activity is disrupted, substantial and substantive government and central bank measures have been put in place in the UK and internationally to support businesses and households.
“These measures, which have been evolving rapidly and could evolve further, are expected to remain in place throughout the period of disruption.” The FCA, FRC and PRA have encouraged investors, lenders and other users of financial statements to take into account the impact of Covid-19 on the provision of financial information.
Companies are also to be encouraged to explain to investors how resilient the company’s business model is to current events and how long they are likely to be able to sustain their operations based on different scenarios.