On January 30, 2020, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, released a public statement, “Proposed Amendments to Modernize and Enhance Financial Disclosures; Other Ongoing Disclosure Modernization Initiatives; Impact of the Coronavirus; Environmental and Climate-Related Disclosure.”
Clayton’s statement discusses these four topics:
- Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative—Financial Disclosures and Performance Metrics – the amendments were proposed to eliminate duplicative disclosure and modernize and enhance Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) disclosures. If adopted, the proposal would benefit investors and capital markets more generally.
- Ongoing Disclosure Initiatives – topics engaged by SEC staff include:
- LIBOR transition,
- Cybersecurity and information system integrity and resilience,
- Environmental and climate-related disclosures,
- The protection of intellectual and other property in jurisdictions with varying legal regimes and access requirements relating to intellectual and other property
- Brexit transition,
- The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)’s ability to conduct inspections of audit firms in China and other jurisdictions, and
- Matters related to the role and functioning of audit committees
- Impact of the Coronavirus – Clayton has asked staff to provide guidance and assistance to issuers and other market participants regarding disclosures related to the current and potential effects of the coronavirus.
- Discussion of Environmental and Climate-Related Disclosure Efforts – Clayton reassures the Commission’s committed investment in this evolving topic and offers a detailed summary of his views on the topic.
For the full details of the statement, visit www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/clayton-mda-2020-01-30.
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