HC Deb 17 November 2003 vol 413 cc527-8W
Mr. Prisk

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with representatives of(a) the European Union, (b) the Institute of Chartered Accountants and (c) business concerning the European Union's proposals for quarterly financial reporting; and if he will make a statement. [137608]

Ruth Kelly

Officials from HM Treasury, together with colleagues from the FSA and the UK Permanent Representation to the European Union, have been involved in intensive discussions on the Transparency Directive with representatives from the European Institutions. Efforts have focused on achieving agreement on a final text that balances the objective of increasing market transparency with the need to reduce the burden and costs for businesses, in particular concerning the European Commission's proposal to introduce quarterly reporting for companies with shares on regulated EU markets.

Officials have also been consulting on this Directive with businesses and their representatives and advisers since November 2002. These consultations have included regular roundtable meetings, which give participants an opportunity to make their concerns known, to get feedback on the process in Brussels, and to quiz officials involved in the process. Officials have also been holding smaller meetings with business representatives, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants, to provide an additional forum for consultation.