BT boss criticises cost of US corporate government legislation

23 Nov 2004

Sir Christopher Bland, chairman of BT, has scorned the cost of having a listing on the US stock exchanges, claiming that he would delist the company from the NYSE if he had the option. Bland claims BT’s US listing has become a great burden because of ‘Sarbanes-Oxley’ corporate governance requirements (put in place in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals), which cost the BT Group GBP10 million per annum. Bland admitted, however, that delisting was out of the question, adding that the group had simply to ‘grit our teeth and get on with it’. According to a report in last week’s Financial Times, most German companies with a US listing also want to quit New York to avoid the cost and difficulties of complying to the regulatory regime.

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach)