UK/OECD - Insight Investment is in top-level talks with the government over an initiative to improve corporate social responsibility.
The fund manager’s head of investor responsibility Craig Mackenzie is in discussions with e-commerce and competitiveness minister Stephen Timms over how the UK can meet international guidelines for processing complaints about the conduct of multi-national companies.
Mackenzie pointed out that each member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) had agreed to set up a national contact point for OECD guidelines on social responsibility which enable investors to lodge complaints about the behaviour of domestic multinationals.
But he added that while the Netherlands and Canada have set up successful contact points, Britain’s is manned by “a fifth of one civil servant who has lots of other things to do”.
He continued: “There really is a need for investors to back a common set of principles.”
The OECD’s national contact point system has been in place since 2000 but only 24 complaints have been raised internationally in the 30 participating countries.
Mackenzie thought this figure was low given the amount of public concern expressed about the behaviour of UK-based mul-tinationals in the last two years.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has announced it will shrink its board by more than one-third as part of a governance overhaul to make it "agile and more appropriate".
Smaller FTSE 350 defined benefit (DB) schemes were nearly 15 percentage points less well-funded than larger schemes in 2017, according to a Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) analysis.
The advent of collective pension systems could help the UK avoid demographic challenges which will make it "impossible" for society to help savers in retirement, experts say.