The Financial Reporting Council really has got to talk to the world beyond the City

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The Financial Reporting Council is responsible for the regulation of auditing, accounting, corporate governance and reporting in the UK. Its chair is Sir Win Bischoff, a long time City director, who wrote in City AM this morning that:

What can business do to rebuild public trust? There may be no silver bullet, but there is no doubt that corporate behaviours need to be closely aligned with long-term value creation for all stakeholders.

With the government and others taking a close interest in issues that portray business as out of touch, firms face a wake-up call to look at their own cultures before winning back broad support from society. Companies must establish a culture that encourages good behaviour, which operates through all levels of the organisation and which becomes embedded in the minds of all staff. This subject will be explored in depth today at the Financial Reporting Council's (FRC) annual conference, where experienced business leaders will explore the relationship between culture, value creation, stakeholders, the economy and society.

I added the emphasis, and for good reason. If the FRC is serious - and it should be - it would be inviting its critics in, as well as civil society and others who have had much to say about its massive failings, not least on entirely avoiding the entire issue of country-by-country reporting, which is probably the lightning rod of current concern on accounting right now. But it isn't. It's just continuing as a talking shop where the chaps talk to the chaps, as the highlighted section proves.

And until it changes the only thing to say about it is that it is unfit for purpose.