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Summer 2019 edition of the Bellwether survey is published

The summer edition of the Bellwether survey, conducted amongst governance professionals in the FTSE 350 companies shows a negative impact on confidence and predicts a downturn in the UK economy over the coming year due to uncertainty over Brexit and the growing risk of a global trade war.

Almost 70 per cent of respondents from FTSE 350 companies believe that the UK economy will decline in the next 12 months, improving from 81 per cent at the end of 2018 but still remaining significantly below the spring reading in 2016 before Britain voted to leave the EU.

Chartered secretaries and governance professionals in Ireland will also be interested in the findings on the key issue of Boardroom diversity where some 83% of FTSE respondents consider their boards to be gender diverse, up from 71% a year ago and almost two-thirds more than the 33% that believed so in winter 2016.

The survey also reflects that Cyber risk is no longer the top concern for British businesses.  Now 69% of respondents consider their cyber risk exposure to be increasing, a sharp drop from winter 2018 (87%).  Whatever the reason, cyber risk was only chosen by 25% as the major factor causing an increase in risk exposure, with 28% of respondents opting for other concerns, 19% selecting global economic risks, 13% choosing geo-political tension and just 9% opting for Brexit.  For the first time the survey asked if respondents see climate change as a major risk.  Just 6% do so, although it is clearly an issue that boards are grappling with as 72% of the boards that responded to the survey have discussed issues relating to climate change at least once in the past year.

 

For full details of the press release see here.