UK Corporate Governance Code

Throughout the year ended 31 December 2016 the Company has been in compliance with the relevant provisions of the September 2014 version of the UK Corporate Governance Code (the 'Code') which applies to the 2016 financial year. 

As reported in the Report of the Audit Committee on pages 62 - 66 of the 2016 Annual Report and Accounts, the Group has not put the external audit contract out to tender during the last 10 years in accordance with provision C.3.7 of the Code.  The external auditor was last appointed in 2001.  The Board decided to take advantage of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)'s guidance on transitional arrangements which allowed the Group to defer a formal third-party tender process until at least the end of the external audit engagement partner's tenure in 2018.  Further information on the timing of a competitive tender process is set out on page 66 of the Report of the Audit Committee in the 2015 Annual Report and Accounts.

The Corporate Governance section of the Annual Report can be accessed from this page.