The UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published its plan and budget for 2024-25 which outlines its priorities to support public interest outcomes.

Due to delay in legislation which would give the FRC additional statutory powers and expanded the regulator’s remit, the FRC will focus on its core purpose of promoting trust and confidence in audit, corporate reporting, and governance.

Because of the delay in the introduction of new legislation, the FRC has decided against a previously planned 16% headcount increase to 590 staff. The headcount will now remain flat, at around 506, in 2024-25. This is avoid ‘unnecessary cost increases for levy payers’, said the FRC.

The combined £71.5m ($90.2) budgeted cost for the FRC and UK Endorsement Board in 2024-25 is 5% lower than previously forecast, but higher than 2023-24 (£66.3m), reflecting inflation. It includes provision for a new FRC office in Birmingham, supporting the government’s levelling-up agenda.

FRC CEO Richard Moriarty said: “The FRC has a key role to play in supporting UK businesses to grow and thrive while delivering on our core public interest responsibilities.

Our plan and budget sets out our key priorities for the year ahead, which includes embedding of the growth duty into our regulatory decision-making to support UK growth and competitiveness.”

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Following the collapse of Carillion and the subsequent reviews into the UK audit market, it was recommended that the FRC transforms into a new regulator known as the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA).

The legislation to allow for this transformation has been absent noticeably absent from recent state openings of parliament. With a general election expected to take place before January 2025, it is likely that that the introduction of legislation which will allow for the FRC’s transformation will be the responsibility of the next UK government.