Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted Portrait

Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Became Member: 23rd October 2015


Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted is not a member of any APPGs
4 Former APPG memberships
Corporate Governance, EU Relations, Islamic Finance, Pensions
Industry and Regulators Committee
14th Apr 2021 - 31st Jan 2024
Fraud Act 2006 and Digital Fraud Committee
19th Jan 2022 - 31st Oct 2022
Economic Affairs Committee
25th May 2016 - 28th Jan 2021
Finance Bill Sub-Committee
21st Jan 2020 - 22nd Jan 2021
SLSC Sub-Committee A
4th Sep 2018 - 30th Apr 2019
Finance Bill Sub-Committee
6th Dec 2016 - 17th Mar 2017
Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill [HL] Special Public Bill Committee
13th Sep 2016 - 9th Nov 2016


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted has voted in 410 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Baroness Penn (Conservative)
(49 debate interactions)
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
(18 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
HM Treasury
(66 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(46 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(44 debate contributions)
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Legislation Debates
Financial Services and Markets Act 2023
(20,899 words contributed)
Financial Services Bill 2019-21
(18,691 words contributed)
Pension Schemes Act 2021
(14,658 words contributed)
United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020
(11,454 words contributed)
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View all Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


1 Bill introduced by Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted


A bill to create an offence of conduct in trade and commerce that is unconscionable; and for connected purposes

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 20th January 2020
(Read Debate)

Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many former employees of KPMG sit on the UK Endorsement Board.

Three Members of the UK Endorsement Board are former employees of KPMG.

12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Earl of Minto on 25 May (HL7684), what work the UK Endorsement Board has undertaken to consider the effect of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill on its work to assess international accounting standards; and what steps they have taken to ensure compliance with the public interest test provided under regulation 7(1) of the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill has no effect on the content of companies’ accounts or the accounting standards they use for that purpose.

The UK Endorsement Board endorses and adopts individual international accounting standards for use in the UK. It carries out that work in accordance with criteria set out in the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

Whether a standard is likely to be conducive to the long-term public good is assessed at individual standard level with reference to the matters set out in regulation 7(2) of that Statutory Instrument.

12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have assessed, or will assess, the risk to UK public interest of the setting of international accounting standards being influenced by (1) rogue states, in particular where financial crime and human rights abuses occur, (2) accounting firms with global networks which co-operate with rogue states, (3) accounting firms with global networks which engage in corrupt practices overseas, (4) accounting firms which engage in corrupt practices in the UK, and (5) accounting firms' former employees who have been prosecuted for tax evasion.

The UK Government is confident that appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent undue influence on international accounting standards development from rogue states or actors engaging in corrupt practices. The International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation maintains rigorous due process in standard-setting, including public consultation on standards, public non-technical Board meetings, and a due diligence oversight committee to monitor adherence to its Due Process Handbook. UK endorsement of international standards through the UK Endorsement Board is also subject to rigorous safeguards, including in-depth background checks before Board members are appointed and an annual report on its technical work for the Secretary of State.

10th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council is not currently advertised on the public appointments website, given that the current CEO resigned in February 2023.

The campaign to find a new Chief Executive Officer for the Financial Reporting Council is now live. The job advertisement can be accessed on the public appointments website at https://apply-for-public-appointment.service.gov.uk/roles/7439.

9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why the website of the UK Endorsement Board for accounting standards shows it has been supporting reduced disclosures applicable to Companies House-filed accounts, given that the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill is amending the Companies Act accounting exemptions so as to increase the disclosure of financial information to help deal with financial crime.

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill removes exemptions from filing accounts for small and micro entities rather than amend the content of those accounts, as determined by international accounting standards or UK accounting standards.

The UK Endorsement Board’s publication commented on the proposals for a new international accounting standard set out in the Exposure Draft Subsidiaries without Public Accountability. These proposals would permit eligible subsidiaries to apply international accounting standards with some reduced disclosure requirements.

The proposed international accounting standard should reduce costs and complexity for eligible subsidiaries but continues to require more disclosures than the equivalent UK accounting standard.

8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what support they provide SMEs seeking to obtain patent protection in (1) the UK, and (2) in other countries; whether they will extend the Enterprise Investment Scheme so that it includes support with patent costs; and whether they will amend the UK Innovate grant so that it supports international coverage for patents.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) provides guidance and support on protection for patents in the UK and abroad through free digital resources; webinars and events, alongside assistance through the network of Patent Libraries and Business and IP Centres. The IPO also partners with Innovate UK Edge to provide intensive, specialist-led support to help innovative SMEs identify, manage and protect their IP at home and abroad, including through financial grants. This complements other available Innovate UK grant funding of up to £7,500 for patenting costs supporting both UK and international coverage.

The knowledge intensive definition for the Enterprise Investment Scheme already includes intellectual property which covers patents.

7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 22 November 2021 (HL3859), whether the members of the UK Endorsement Board (1) individually, or (2) collectively, have the power to (a) tender for third party services, and (b) select providers of third party services.

The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) is an unincorporated association. Whilst individual board members have the power to enter into contractual agreements, they have no call on UKEB funds which are managed through the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and can only be accessed when procurement has been authorised in accordance with the FRC Procurement Policy. UKEB members can input into the process of drawing up a list of prospective providers of third-party services with oversight from the FRC accounting officer.

13th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what statistics they collate on ethnicity in small and medium sized enterprises; and if they collate any such statistics, what are the numbers by ethnicity of (1) staff, and (2) owners, of small and medium sized enterprises, by sector, according to the most recent figures.

The Longitudinal Small Business 2020 Survey reported that 5% of SME employers were minority ethnic group led (MEG-led), defined as having a person in sole control of the business or having a management team with at least half of its members from ethnic minority groups.

MEG-led SME employers were more likely in information and communication (9%), accommodation and food (7%) sectors and less likely in primary (0%) and education sectors (1%).

Further reported about 4% of businesses with no employees were MEG-led. MEG-led businesses were most likely to be in the transport and storage (7%), information and communications and health (both 6%) sectors, and least likely in primary, education and accommodation and food services sectors (all 1%).

Further details can be found on the GOV.UK website. Data for 2021 will be published in August 2022.

7th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 6 July (HL1265), how the post of Technical Director of the UK Endorsement Board can have been recruited by the process set out in the attachment in the light of the metadata showing that this document was created on 29 April 2021, whilst Financial Reporting Council minutes indicate that the post had been taken by Seema Jamil O’Neill at some time before 18 June 2020.

The Technical Director was appointed on 1 December 2021 as a permanent role, following an open and transparent recruitment process for internal and external candidates as set-out in the attachment to my response to Question HL1265. Between 1 June 2020 and up until 1 December 2021 the role was filled on an interim basis, whilst the UKEB was being set up. The interim appointment was made through an internal secondment competition within FRC which included an application and interview process with representatives of FRC HR, BEIS and a Technical Expert from the Bank of England.

7th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 15 June (HL757), whether the use of judgement in resolving accounting issues is by reference to (1) the purpose of audited accounts as set out in company law, or (2) the Conceptual Framework that has “no status because it is not adopted into UK law”.

Section 393 of the Companies Act 2006 places a requirement on directors that the accounts must provide a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of a company or group. Directors must provide such information as is necessary to ensure that this requirement is met, including where no specific accounting standard applies to a transaction, event or condition. For those companies using “UK-adopted international accounting standards”, IAS 8 “Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors” provides a basis for the use of judgement in resolving accounting issues in such situations.

30th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 December 2021 (HL4706), which said that the Companies Act 2006 “does not establish a requirement for the company to disclose its undistributable reserves”, what consideration they have given to amending that answer in light of the Financing Reporting Council Publication Miscellaneous Reports By Auditors Required By The United Kingdom Companies Act 2006, published in March, which said that “With respect to the auditor’s responsibility, the auditor’s statement states that it is restricted to an examination of the relationship between the company’s net assets and it’s called up share capital and undistributable reserves as stated in the audited balance sheet".

No consideration has been given to amending the response to HL4706. The Companies Act 2006 does not establish a requirement for the company to disclose its undistributable reserves. The publication referenced provides guidance for auditors when making reports required, in certain circumstances, by The Companies Act 2006. Proposals to require certain companies to disclose their distributable reserves were included in the Government’s response to Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance.

30th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 21 June (HL865), whether the answer “the UK Endorsement Board has interpreted its statutory functions in accordance with the Companies Act” means that the UK Endorsement Board has determined the suitability of accounting standards for the applicable accounting framework of the Companies Act 2006 as set out by the Written Answers by Lord Henley on 30 January 2019 (HL12948 and HL12949), namely “sections 92, 498(1)&(2), 519, 714(4), 836 and 837 Companies Act 2006”; and if so, whether there is a public record of that having happened.

The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) is required to assess international accounting standards (IAS) in accordance with Regulation 7(1) and with regard to the matters in Regulation 7(2). The interpretation of these functions is considered by the UKEB within the context of the Companies Act. However, the UKEB is not required to assess IAS against individual sections of the Companies Act nor publish any evidence in that regard. With regards to the quoted sections of the Companies Act regarding the calculation of distributable profits, I refer the noble Baroness to my response to HL31 on 20 May 2022.

30th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 21 June (HL865), which stated “the UK Endorsement Board has interpreted its statutory functions in accordance with the Companies Act and the provision in Section 11 of the Interpretation Act 1978”, whether they will issue a correction to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL31) which stated “The UK Endorsement Board is only required to assess international accounting standards against the criteria in Regulation 7(1) in SI 2019/685".

The Government does not intend to amend its response to HL31 and does not believe that the two statements quoted in the question are in contradiction with one another. The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) is required to assess international accounting standards (IAS) against the criteria in Regulation 7(1). This also requires the UKEB to have regard to the matters set out in Regulation 7(2). The interpretation of these functions is considered by the UKEB within the context of the Companies Act. However, the UKEB is not required to assess IAS against individual sections of the Companies Act.

30th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL31) and 21 June (HL864), whether (1) quangos acting under a legislative framework, and (2) government departments overseeing the activities of quangos acting under a legislative framework, take into account the leading case law on the subject matter at stake.

Regulators and other public bodies will consider case law to the extent that it is directly applicable to their legal functions.

27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 21 June (HL866), what was the process for the fair and open competitive recruitment for the position of Technical Director of the UK Endorsement Board; and when that appointment was made.

All members of the UK Endorsement Board’s Secretariat are FRC employees and are appointed following an open and transparent recruitment process as set out in the attached document taken from the FRC website.

27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 21 June (HL866), whether they have asked Mike Ashley whether he had any involvement in the recruitment of Seema Jamil O’Neill from KPMG to the staff of the UK Accounting Standards Board while he was a member of that Board and a partner at KPMG; and if not, whether they will now do so.

As noted in my response for HL866 on 21 June, the UK Endorsement Board Secretariat provides an administrative role with no executive function so staff in the Secretariat should not be subject to parliamentary questions about their previous experience.

27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 21 June (HL866), why the position of Technical Director of the UK Endorsement Board is not an executive function of (1) the UK Endorsement Board, or (2) the Financial Reporting Council.

The Secretary of State delegated statutory powers to the UK Endorsement Board. The Secretariat, including the Technical Director, have no decision-making powers. Their role is to provide technical advice to the UK Endorsement Board to support the delivery of its statutory functions. The UK Endorsement Board Secretariat is also ring-fenced from the Financial Reporting Council functions and is not involved in the decision-making of the Financial Reporting Council, nor do members of the Secretariat sit on the FRC’s Executive Committee.

16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 15 June (HL760), whether they will change the answer given to the original question, answered on 27 May (HL404), now that this later answer clarifies that the attachment of the January 2007 impact assessment to the answer (HL404) has no relevance to the question put.

I refer the noble Baroness to the Government’s response to HL760, which supplements the Government’s response to HL404.

16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 15 June (HL760), why the UK Endorsement Board is missing from the Public Appointments Order in Council; and whether (1) the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and (2) the National Audit Office, have been made aware of that omission.

As the UK Endorsement Board is not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, it does not appear on the Public Appointments Order in Council, which was last reviewed in 2019 – prior to the UK Endorsement Board being established. With the exception of the Chair, appointments to the UK Endorsement Board are made by the Chair, with the consent of Ministers rather than being full public appointments.

BEIS officials have not discussed the UK Endorsement Board with the Commissioner for Public Appointments and the National Audit Office. The Government undertakes to consult the Commissioner’s office to discuss whether to include the UK Endorsement Board in the Order.

16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 15 June (HL760), how many applications were received for the post of Chair of the UK Endorsement Board; how many candidates were invited for interview; what was the composition of the interview panel; when and where the announcement was made that Pauline Wallace had been reappointed; and whether they will place a copy of the candidate pack in the Library of the House.

Diversity summary

Of seven applications to the role of Chair of the UK Endorsement Board, two were female and five are male. A detailed split is as follows:

Male

Female

BAME

With Disabilities

LGBT

Total

5 (71%)

2 (29%)

4 (57%)

1 (14%)

0 (0%)

Panel Summary

  • Panel Chair and BEIS Representative: Eoin Parker, Director, Business Frameworks
  • Other Panel Member: John Coomber, Non-Executive Director, Financial Reporting Council
  • Other Panel Member: Clare Cole, Director of Market Oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Independent Panel Member: Shrinivas Honap, Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Chair, UK Space Agency

As this campaign is still ongoing, no announcement on the successful candidate has been made.

There are no plans to place a copy of the candidate pack in the Libraries of the House.

13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL127), why the UK Endorsement Board website at 1 June 2022 made no reference to Mr Ashley’s career of 35 years at KPMG.

The profile of Mike Ashley on the UK Endorsement Board website sets out his career with KPMG. A copy of the profile is attached for reference. It is a matter for the UK Endorsement Board to decide what information they include on their website.

13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL127 and HL128), whether they asked Mike Ashley or Seema Jamil O’Neill for information when preparing their response; and if not, whether they will now do so.

The UK Endorsement Board secretariat provides an administrative role with no executive function so staff in the secretariat should not be subject to parliamentary questions about their previous experience. However, I can assure the noble Baroness that all members of the secretariat were recruited through fair and open competition.

The Government did not ask Mike Ashley for information in preparing its response to the previous questions. Officials contacted Mr Ashley during preparation of a response to this question and he informed officials that, to the best of his recollection, he was the KPMG audit engagement partner for years ending 31/12/2001 until 31/12/2004 inclusive.

13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL27) and 27 May (HL402), why the UK Endorsement Board has not interpreted its duties in SI 2019/685 by reference to the Companies Act 2006, given that section 11 of the Interpretation Act 1978 requires "Where an Act confers power to make subordinate legislation, expressions used in that legislation have, unless the contrary intention appears, the meaning which they bear in the Act."

SI 2019/685 was made under powers conferred by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and not the Companies Act 2006. Nevertheless, the Government is satisfied that the UK Endorsement Board has interpreted its statutory functions in accordance with the Companies Act and the provision in Section 11 of the Interpretation Act 1978 that is quoted in the question.

13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 1 June (HL473), what assessment they made of the duties of auditors set out the decision in Caparo Vs Dickman when providing that answer; and in particular, the part of the judgment which states "It is the auditors' function to ensure, so far as possible, that the financial information as to the company's affairs prepared by the directors accurately reflects the company's position in order, first, to protect the company itself from the consequences of undetected errors or, possibly, wrongdoing (by, for instance, declaring dividends out of capital)."

The Government did not make an assessment in providing the Written Answer on 1 June 2022 to Question HL473. The interpretation of court judgements is not a matter for the Government, but for relevant regulators and the courts.

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 27 May (HL402), whether the Secretary of State or the UK Endorsement Board have been endorsing International Accounting Standards as set out in Regulation 7 of The International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 only, and without reference to section 403(1) of the Companies Act 2006.

As set out in the answer I gave the noble Baroness on 27 May 2022 to Question HL402, both the Secretary of State and, following the delegation of statutory functions, the UK Endorsement Board have adopted international accounting standards in accordance with the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 23 May (HL245), why the post of Chair to the UK Endorsement Board was not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Chair campaign was not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments as the role is not currently included on the Public Appointments Order in Council. Only roles included on the Order are regulated by the Commissioner. The classification and form of the UK Endorsement Board means it was not included on the Order, however this position may be reviewed in future.

Nevertheless, the campaign was run in accordance with the usual regulated process in all respects other than the advert remaining on the Cabinet Office website after the closing date.

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 23 May (HL404), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, whether the result of companies having to do adjustments has been subject to an impact assessment in terms of (1) burdens on business, and (2) the risk of hiding insolvency.

The matter in the question was not considered in the January 2007 impact assessment on the Companies Act 2006.

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 23 May (HL404), what assessment they have made of whether directors and auditors should be making “adjustments” at the time the accounts are signed, because the lack of such adjustments could hamper the determination of solvency/going concern position of a company.

The directors are responsible for signing off the accounts and making sure they comply with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006. The Companies Act requires that companies take into account the additional factors in Part 23 of the Companies Act when calculating distributable profits. This is to ensure that a company may only make distributions out of profits available for the purpose of distribution.

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 27 May (HL403), what “other criteria” must be assessed under Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006, in addition to those set out in sections 833A and 844, before paying a dividend.

Companies are required to take account of all of the matters in Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006 before paying a dividend.

8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 23 May (HL294), whether (1) the International Accounting Standards Board’s Framework extant in 2001, (2) the Conceptual Framework published in 2018, or (3) some other “Framework” or “Conceptual Framework”, applies to UK adopted accounting standards under IAS1.

The Conceptual Framework issued by the International Accounting Standards Board is not an international accounting standard and therefore is not adopted into UK law. Nevertheless, it does provide a basis for the use of judgement in resolving accounting issues. It is only of relevance in situations where no specific international accounting standard applies to a transaction, event or condition (as set out in IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors).

24th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL131), whether they asked Pauline Wallace for information when preparing their response; and if not, whether they will now do so.

Pauline Wallace has informed the Government that she had no involvement in the tribunal between the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board and PwC.

24th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL31), what assessment they have made of the judgment given in the Caparo V Dickman case; and whether their reply was based on that assessment.

The Government did not make an assessment of the Caparo V Dickman case in providing the Written Answer on 20 May 2022 to Question HL31.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL31), why s833A is relevant to that answer, given that s833A does not provide an example of adjustments to numbers in the audited accounts because s833A(7) uses different numbers valued in accordance with rules from the Prudential Regulatory Authority instead.

As noted in the answer I gave to HL31, section 833A is an example of a factor that directors in certain insurance companies may need to consider when using their relevant accounts to determine their company’s distributable profits. Section 833A works in tandem with other sections that reference the accounts, to create a dual test.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL31), how any audited accounts described as a "starting point" can have been reliable for assessing whether a company is capable of being a going concern or not, if that “starting point” (1) contained material unrealised profits, and (2) excluded material realised losses.

UK-adopted international accounting standards require the directors of a company, when preparing the accounts, to make an assessment of the company’s ability to continue to operate as a going concern for at least 12 months from the balance sheet date. These standards also require disclosure where there are material uncertainties related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt upon the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Section 836 of the Companies Act 2006 requires that the calculation of distributable profits is determined by reference to the relevant accounts. Part 23 includes other criteria that must be assessed before the amount of distributable profits for the company can be determined. In taking a decision to pay a dividend, directors must also consider their duty under s172 of the Companies Act 2006 to promote the success of the company for the benefit of shareholders as a whole. Consideration of the success of the company may include an assessment of whether the company would, following the payment of the proposed dividend, be solvent and continue to be able to pay its debts as they fall due, in the context of the current and likely future position and needs of the company.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL27 and HL31), by what authority the UK Endorsement Board is endorsing accounting standards under its duties in secondary legislation without considering the primary legislative framework in which those standards sit; and when was such authority (1) given, and (2) by whom.

Regulation 5 of the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/685) gave the Secretary of State the responsibility to adopt international accounting standards, with a view to harmonising the financial information presented by companies preparing accounts required by section 403(1) of the Companies Act 2006. This responsibility was delegated to the UK Endorsement Board via the International Accounting Standards (Delegation of Functions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021, which was approved by Parliament and came into force on 22 May 2021. The delegation also includes the requirement to abide by the basis for adoption of international accounting standards set-out in Regulation 7 of SI 2019/685.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL31), how systemic such adjustments are if audited accounts are merely a “starting point“; and whether the result of companies having to do that has been subject to an impact assessment in terms of (1) burdens on business, and (2) the risk of hiding insolvency.

Companies calculate their distributable profits under Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006, and as such, it is an individual decision at the company level as to whether to make a distribution.

An impact assessment on the Companies Act 2006 was published in January 2007 and is attached to this response.

17th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 16 September 2020 (HL7849), which version of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) framework is applicable to directors preparing International Accounting Standards (IAS) accounts given that (1) the (a) EU, and (b) UK Endorsement Board, have not endorsed any framework, and (2) the EU adopted international accounting standards at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 which are not legislation and do not include any framework.

The Companies Act 2006 (the Act) requires UK-registered companies which use international accounting standards when preparing their accounts to use UK-adopted international accounting standards. UK-adopted international accounting standards are defined in Section 474 of the Act as the international accounting standards which are adopted for use within the United Kingdom by virtue of Chapter 2 or 3 of Part 2 of SI 2019/685. These are any international accounting standards endorsed by the EU as at the end of the EU Exit transition period, and any subsequent UK adoptions of international accounting standards by the Secretary of State or, following the delegation of this function, by the UK Endorsement Board. A consolidated text of UK-adopted international accounting standards can be found on the UK Endorsement Board’s website.

16th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why an advertisement for the appointment of a Chair for the UK Endorsement Board appeared on the Cabinet Office website on 15 December 2021 but was then taken down before the completion of that process.

The advert for a campaign to recruit a new Chair to the UK Endorsement Board was published on the Cabinet Office website on 15 December 2021, and remained there until the closing date for applications on 23 January 2022. Campaigns that are not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments are no longer visible to the public on the website after they have closed for applications.

11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Mike Ashley was a serving member of the Accounting Standards Board when he acted as an expert witness to defend PwC against the Financial Reporting Council’s action in respect of PwC’s audit of Mayflower plc; and if so, (1) what assessment was made of whether this constituted a conflict of interest, and (2) whether he offered to resign from the Board.

Mike Ashley was a serving member of the UK Accounting Standards Board, which was a Board of the FRC, when he acted as an expert witness on behalf of PwC during the Tribunal between the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board and PwC. The judgement for this case is available on the FRC’s website (and a copy is attached to this response). The Government does not hold information relating to the procedures of the UK Accounting Standards Board which was a Board of the FRC and ceased operating in 2012.

11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the processes for the recruitment of Seema Jamil O’Neil (1) to the staff of Accounting Standards Board, and (2) to the post of Executive Director of the UK Endorsement Board, in 2021 were subject to (a) public advertising, and (b) open competition.

The Government does not hold information relating to the recruitment of staff to the UK Accounting Standards Board which was a Board of the FRC and ceased operating in 2012. All permanent posts for staff recruited to the Secretariat of the UK Endorsement Board are subject to public advertising and open competition.

11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government for which years did (1) UK Endorsement Board member Mike Ashley act as the KPMG audit partner of HSBC Holdings plc, and (2) UK Endorsement Board Executive Director Seema Jamil O’Neil act as the Senior Manager for the KPMG audit of HSBC Holdings plc.

Information from the UK Endorsement Board website explains that Mike Ashley retired as the Partner and the Head of Quality and Risk Management of KPMG Europe LLP in September 2013, having spent about 35 years with the firm and its predecessor firm, Peat Marwick. The Government does not hold information relating to the specifics of Mr Ashley’s role at KPMG.

The UK Endorsement Board operates independently from the Government. BEIS is therefore unable to provide information relating to members of staff, including information on job history, supporting its work.

11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK Endorsement Board member Mike Ashley, while also a partner of KPMG, had any involvement in the recruitment of Seema Jamil O’Neil from KPMG to the staff of the Accounting Standards Board.

The Government does not hold information relating to the recruitment of staff to the UK Accounting Standards Board which was a Board of the FRC and ceased operating in 2012.

11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government for which period did (1) Mike Ashley serve as a member of the Accounting Standards Board, and (2) Seema Jamil O’Neil serve as a member of staff of the Accounting Standards Board.

Mike Ashley was a member of the UK Accounting Standards Board, which was a Board of the FRC, from 2004 to 2010.

BEIS is unable to provide information relating to members of UK Endorsement Board staff, including information on job history, because the UK Endorsement Board operates independently from the Government.

11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Pauline Wallace, Chair of the UK Endorsement Board, was involved in defending PwC against the Financial Reporting Council’s action in respect of PwC’s audit of Mayflower plc; and if so, whether she worked with Mike Ashley as part of that defence.

Pauline Wallace was at partner at PwC between 2002 and 2013. The judgement for the tribunal between the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board and PwC was provided in 2006 and is available on the FRC’s website. HM Government does not hold information on whether Pauline Wallace had any involvement in the tribunal.

10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 16 September 2020 (HL7963) which stated that “calculation of the distributable profits and of a distribution by a public company must be based on the profits of the company as set out in the company’s accounts”, how and when did the discussions of UK Endorsement Board in its adoption of IFRS 17 take that function into account to ensure that accounts of insurance companies are reliable for that function.

The calculation of distributable profits must take the profits of the company as set out in the company’s accounts as its starting point. However, directors must also take into account additional factors set out in Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006. For example, for certain insurance companies that are authorised under the Solvency 2 Directive this includes the factors set out in s833A. The effect of these additional factors is to ensure that a company may only make distributions out of profits available for the purpose. The UK Endorsement Board is only required to assess international accounting standards against the criteria in Regulation 7(1) in SI 2019/685.

10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK Endorsement Board’s analysis for the endorsement of IFRS 17 made no assessment of whether the need to override the application of a standard would be "extremely rare".

The UK Endorsement Board’s Endorsement Criteria Assessment (ECA) for IFRS 17 sets out the results of the UK Endorsement Board’s assessment of the standard against the adoption criteria in SI 2019/685. The ECA states that this assessment has not identified any requirement of IFRS 17 that would prevent individual or consolidated accounts prepared using the standard from giving a true and fair view of the entity’s assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss. Following discussion of this matter by the UK Endorsement Board at its meeting on 9 May 2022, the final version of the ECA makes specific reference to the fact that the UK Endorsement Board is satisfied that the circumstances in which the application of IFRS 17 would result in accounts which did not give a true and fair view would be extremely rare.

10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK Endorsement Board has not commented on (1) the opinion from Mr Todd QC and Mr Rivett, and (2) the other six opinions it placed on its website for the purpose of endorsement of IFRS 17.

The UK Endorsement Board has sought advice to clarify the legal position and the approach to be taken when assessing an international accounting standard against the criteria in Regulation 7(1)(a) of SI 2019/685 (the true and fair view criteria). In April 2022, it obtained an Opinion from Counsel on the interpretation of Regulation 7(1)(a). This Opinion was only one piece of a wide range of information that has been considered by the UK Endorsement Board as part of its responsibilities relating to the endorsement and adoption of international accounting standards.

The UK Endorsement Board website contains links to prior Counsel opinions, that were obtained by a number of different organisations, in order to provide contextual background for stakeholders.

10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK Endorsement Board took no account the two opinions of George Bompas QC in its analysis for the endorsement of IFRS 17 despite linking to those opinions on its website.

The UK Endorsement Board has sought advice to clarify the legal position and the approach to be taken when assessing an international accounting standard against the criteria in Regulation 7(1)(a) of SI 2019/685 (the true and fair view criteria). In April 2022, it obtained an Opinion from Counsel on the interpretation of Regulation 7(1)(a). This Opinion was only one piece of a wide range of information that has been considered by the UK Endorsement Board as part of its responsibilities relating to the endorsement and adoption of international accounting standards.

The UK Endorsement Board website contains links to prior Counsel opinions, that were obtained by a number of different organisations, in order to provide contextual background for stakeholders.