Jessica Fino 13 Sep 2018 11:09am

FRC to publish hospitality register

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) will soon publish its hospitality register, revealing details of gifts, dinners and other activities provided to its officials

The regulator told the Financial Times that it would publish the register “in the coming months”, after being accused of having a cosy relationship with Big Four firms.

In a bid to increase transparency, the FRC announced last year a register of conflicts of interest.

It revealed Kate Marshall, who is married to FRC chief executive Stephen Haddrill, had been working as a deputy director in BEIS’s partnerships team, with a brief to ensure robust arrangements for governance and accountability among more than 50 “arm’s length bodies”, including the FRC.

The regulator responded to a Freedom Of Information request in April, saying it would publish the hospitality register “in coming months”, but is yet to give a date.

The FRC said, “As a public body we aim to operate to principles of transparency. This saw us publish our register of interests and update our governance guidelines last year. Consistent with this approach we will publish a hospitality register in the coming months.”

HMRC has been publishing its hospitality registers for over a decade. In last year’s register, the Revenue disclosed that Big Four firm PwC paid for a dinner for chief financial officer Justin Holiday and Microsoft paid for a lunch with HMRC’s commercial director.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has also been publishing its hospitality and gifts registers since 2015. In its June 2018 update, the FCA disclosed its chair Andrew Bailey has held lunches and dinners with the Bank of England, the Daily Mail, City of London, the Treasury and the Chartered Institute of Management.