Policy and Technical Manifesto

The Association of Corporate Treasurers.

  • Supporting members’ professional standards – helping them do their jobs
  • Representing non-financial-sector corporates
  • Influencing relevant law, regulation and market practices

The ACT will be pro-active, within the limits of its resources

  • in the UK and Europe and also in the wider international area;
  • in supporting professional standards of members and others interested and helping them do their jobs:
    • developing and promulgating guidance and best-practice papers;
    • contributing appropriate technical update material to ACT publications;
    • promoting public debate of treasury issues (including corporate finance) via ACT publications and events (in conjunction with other ACT committees) and through other channels;
    • through CPD;
  • taking up issues raised by members where the issues are likely to be of wider interest among non-financial-sector corporates;
  • in urging reform or modification of laws, regulations, market practice etc. in the interests of companies as seems appropriate;
  • working together with like-minded organisations.

The ACT formulates its positions independently of its own commercial considerations

The ACT seeks to represent non-financial-sector corporates 1

The ACT takes the following as basic premises

  • Open, liquid, transparent and honest markets are in the interests of all companies involved in those markets in any way and of society at large.
  • It is important that market infrastructure, payment systems, etc. take account of corporate client needs as well as financial service industry convenience.
  • Regulation commonly represents a barrier to entry, restricts competition and innovation and increases costs. It should thus normally only be used as a last resort where there is evidence of an actual or potential market failure or in quasi-monopoly areas where competition is insufficient, industry codes etc. have failed and where the public good from regulation manifestly exceeds the costs it engenders.
  • Where regulation is to be applied it should be with a bias towards light-touch- and principles-based regulation to lower costs and preserve as much flexibility as possible.

The ACT will respond to formal and informal consultations from governments, regulators, trade bodies which are custodians of market practices and other bodies of influence as well as pro-actively raising other matters of concern with them

  • We will limit our area of activity to matters having an impact on the practice of treasury, including corporate finance, and, broadly to the areas of
  • Financial markets and non-financial-sector corporates’ presence in them
  • Corporate financial policy and financial management
  • Risk management
  • Transactional services and payment systems
  • Tax
  • Relevant accounting and other disclosure practices and standards
  • Corporate governance, including governance of take-overs, mergers, etc. 2

The Policy and Technical Committee will seek to involve the wider membership and others with a professional interest in the areas of concern followed by the Committee, using formal or informal "Working Groups" in appropriate cases.

The ACT will formulate its views and public positions through its executive team in conjunction with the Policy and Technical Committee and by taking soundings from members.

  • In formulating its views, The ACT recognises that there will be times when its stance, stemming from the basic premises above will be in conflict with the self interest of individual members’ companies.

1 While the ACT’s membership includes many persons who work in the financial services sector, the ACT’s USP is its non-financial services orientation. Further, the financial sector has a number of trade bodies which strongly represent it, in marked contrast to the non-financial sector. Umbrella bodies with both financial and non-financial sector corporates can find themselves unable to take a strong line, their membership embracing both sides of a controversy. In many cases the interests of financial and non-financial sector corporates coincide or one side is indifferent on points of importance to the other. However, interests on particular points can conflict – when the ACT will support the nonfinancial sector interest unless there is a wider public interest which demands otherwise.

2 Corporate treasurers have a key interest in corporate governance as

  • good practice in this area is a key factor in a company’s reputation in financial markets
  • treasurers commonly convey that their company and group’s good governance underpins their credit standing
  • the risk to investors of instruments issued by companies is affected by rules on change of control and similar “event risks”
  • treasurers are often involved in mergers acquisitions and disposals and other corporate actions.
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