FTSE 350 Codes of Ethics: greater clarity needed

Publication type: Report
15 May 2023

Tags: Speak Up, Code of Ethics

An assessment of the codes of ethics of the UK’s leading companies.

Following the interest created by our 2021 report, FTSE 100 Codes of Ethics: room for improvement, we have repeated the research and extended it to the full FTSE 350.

Key findings of the research are:

  • 189 FTSE 350 companies (54%) have a publicly available code of some sort.
  • Of the FTSE 350 companies with a code, 57% reach what the IBE regards as a “good” standard.
  • Codes that had been updated in the last three years were more likely to be scored “good” than older or undated codes.
  • 58% of the 189 FTSE 350 publicly available codes have an explicit commitment to non-retaliation.

The IBE has two clear calls for action:

  1. We would encourage every business to have a code of ethics and to make it publicly available, to enable scrutiny and engage all stakeholders, including investors. It's a vital tool for an ethical business, and it needs to be kept up to date - we recommend reviewing your code at least once every three years.
  2.  We strongly recommend the inclusion in the code of unequivocal assurances of non-retaliation against those who raise an ethical concern. Every business must commit to supporting and protecting those brave enough to raise concerns.     

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If you have any issues please email, info@ibe.org.uk.

IBE Research Report - FTSE 350 Codes of Ethics