We reported earlier this year that the government had decided to introduce a number of changes to the content requirements for statements of capital. Whilst the planned changes did not go as far as some would have liked (at least in the sense that the government did not explain fully how it planned to address companies' concerns about the obligation to set out the "prescribed particulars" of the rights attached to their shares), they were nevertheless a welcome indication that the government is willing to act in cases where the Companies Act 2006 imposes unnecessary burdens on companies.
The plan was for changes in respect of the statement of capital which is contained in the annual return to be introduced in advance of changes to other statements of capital. Specifically, the government intended to abolish, with effect from October 2011, the requirement for the annual return:
- to disclose details of the amounts paid up on the company's shares
- to describe the voting rights attached to the shares.
This timeline now appears to have slipped, because the government has announced that it would not be cost-effective to introduce the changes to the annual return in advance of the other changes. Unfortunately, we have not received any indication as to when those other changes might materialise, and so for the foreseeable future companies will simply have to continue to do their best to comply with the existing content requirements.