Sarbanes-Oxley's Governance Rules Not Harsh Enough, Poll Says
WASHINGTON - As credit unions begin to see more governance and accountability reform as a result of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, many investors still think the regulations that came from the landmark legislation are too lenient. Fifty-five percent of investors believe governance regulations are too lax with 77% of those between the ages of 45-54 agreeing, according to a Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive personal-finance poll. The survey, conducted Oct. 4-6, consisted of 1,248 investors, which were defined as holders of Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k)s, company stocks or bonds. Just 6% felt the regulations were too harsh while 39% said they were on the mark. The poll showed that 45% of investors believed responsibility for corporate governance lies primarily with the company's board of directors and 22% felt chief executives are responsible. Nearly two-thirds said they don't believe boards of directors are effective in overseeing their companies' governance. Still, 42% of those surveyed said punishment for a violation of the rules should be directed at directors and 48% said the blame falls with company executives. At the recent National Association of Credit Union Chairmen Roundtable Forum in Savannah, the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley on credit union governance was featured in a presentation.