Companies House and FCA both temporarily extend reporting deadlines for company accounts in response to Coronavirus (Covid-19)

26th March 2020

Companies House activity

The 4.3 million businesses on the Companies House register will be able to apply for a three-month deadline extension for filing their annual accounts and reports in order to allow them to prioritise managing the impact of Coronavirus. Under normal circumstances, companies that file accounts late are issued with an automatic penalty.

As part of the measures agreed with the government, while companies will still have to apply for the three-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take 15 minutes to complete.

To access more information about making an application for a filing deadline extension click here.

The government is also in consultation with company representative bodies, legal practitioners and others, to look at solutions for the impact COVID-19 may have on companies’ ability to hold Annual General Meetings. Updated guidance on this matter will be published in due course.

Quite Separately

FCA activity

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced temporary relief for listed companies facing the challenges of corporate reporting during the coronavirus crisis.

This temporary relief will permit listed companies only which need the extra time to complete their audited financial statements an additional two months in which publish them. Currently, under the Transparency Directive, companies have four months from their financial year end in which to publish audited financial statements. Under the temporary relief announced the FCA will, among other things, forbear from suspending the listing of companies if they publish financial statements within six months of their year-end.

More detailed additional information about the duration, scope and applicability of this temporary relief are set out below:

FCA Statement 

Joint Statement

Further information in Q&As 

The FCA said the policy is intended to be temporary while the UK faces the extreme disruption of the coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath.  The regulator will be keeping its application under review. When the disruption abates it will announce how it will end the policy in a fair, orderly and transparent way.

The FCA has also, members may want to keep appraised of Coronavirus (Covid-19) developments by clicking here.

BIBA members’ compliance and regulation queries should be directed to: [email protected]