Firms want new code of practice

A clutch of the UK’s largest firms have called for the code of best practice covering boardrooms to be loosened, to allow them to opt out of guidelines. Companies including British Airways, Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Cable & Wireless want a change to the code’s ethos of “comply or explain” because they believe investors are too keen to criticise any departure from the code. In a letter to the Financial Reporting Council, which supervises the code, M&S said some investors took the code to mean “comply or else”.