Best practice

Through The Thicket: A guide for financial and corporate communications practitioners

Through the Thicket is a handbook to help financial communicators find their way through the maze of regulations and guidelines relating to the disclosure of financial information and the prevention of insider dealing and market abuse. It examines the laws and the financial regulations that will impact on the way that they do their jobs. It is designed as an overview, which means that it is a concise summary of main points.

The guide is meant to help practitioners understand the spirit as well as the letter of the law and help alert them to areas where they should check to ensure best practice. When in doubt, we would still recommend reference back to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) publications and the appropriate pieces of legislation and regulation should be made before taking action.

Financial regulation is changing particularly quickly, so the detail of this guide will be subject to change. In addition, there will be a growing number of European regulations that will impact on the way UK companies must communicate.

Click here to obtain a copy of the guide, cost £15 inclusive of post and package (discounts available)

Gorkana reports: It is eight years since the CIPR's financial communications regulatory guide Through the Thicket was last updated and its third incarnation, rewritten by Finance Talking's Miranda Lane, was launched this morning. Needless to say much of the discussion surrounded the FSA's recent clarification of the regime governing 'market cleanliness', especially the ways in which non-regulated firms (PR agencies) communicate with journalists on behalf of regulated firms (brokers and investment banks). How information is disseminated in the market is something the regulator is committed to monitoring.

When the FSA first came to revisit the issue in 2007 it conducted a study of APPMs - abnormal pre-announcement price movements - as an indicator of possible leaks. The regulator was quick to highlight that this is a grey area given the possibility of genuine explanations such as clued up analyst notes or market volatility, which wasn't in short supply in 2009. However, last year the APPM rate for deals was around 30% where it has been for a few years now. This is a metric the FSA has undertaken to track on an annual basis so we can expect a verdict on 2010 next summer in the FSA's annual report. As the FSA said in last year's report "we would expect to see further progress in this area". That's assuming analysts don't get better at reading their tea leaves.

Click here to see a short video of the event compiled by markettiers4DC and the slides


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