A commitment to transparency
We are committed to good corporate governance and achieving our business objectives in an honest, transparent and accountable way.
We regard robust corporate governance a key element underpinning the sustainable, long-term growth of our business.
These principles are reflected in our Standards of Business Conduct, which demonstrate our commitment to good corporate behaviour. They have been in place for many years, and are regularly revised to ensure that they remain at the forefront of best business practice. Every Group company and all of our staff worldwide are expected to live up to them. In 2020, over 26,000 Group company employees confirmed that they had complied with our SoBC, disclosed any conflicts of interest and completed our annual SoBC e-learning through the online SoBC portal.
In addition, our Statement of Business Principles is designed to reflect the expectations of our stakeholders that we operate our business responsibly.
We were proud that our commitment to high standards of corporate governance was reflected in our number one ranking in an index published in the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) 2016 Good Governance Report .
The IoD’s report, published in September 2016, ranked FTSE 100 companies based on their corporate governance performance. The index combined measurable factors with the views of investors, business leaders and governance professionals.
The principal governance rules applying to British American Tobacco p.l.c. (the ‘Company’) are contained in the UK Corporate Governance Code (the “Code”), which can be found on the Financial Reporting Council's website. As required by the Code, the Corporate Governance Statement in our Annual Report describes how we apply its Principles and provides our formal report on compliance with its Provisions.
In the interests of transparency, we prepare a report annually summarising our approach to corporate governance by reference to each Principle and Provision of the Code.
In addition to being listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Company’s ordinary shares in the form of American depositary shares (ADSs) are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and are registered under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In addition to its obligations under the UK Corporate Governance Code, the Company is a foreign private issuer under US securities laws and is subject to certain US securities laws and regulations, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and the NYSE listing rules. The Company is required to publicly file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) an annual report on Form 20-F and furnish to the SEC current reports on Form 6-K. As a foreign private issuer listed on the NYSE, the Company is also required to submit semi-annual financial statements on Form 6-K to the SEC.
The Company previously had unlisted trading privileges for its ADSs on NYSE American (formerly known as NYSE MKT).
4 Temple Place
London WC2R 2PG
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7845 1000
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7240 0555