On 22 March 2020, the FCA announced that it would be writing to listed companies it was aware of that were intending to publish preliminary financial statements in the next few days to delay their planned publications. The FCA strongly requests all listed companies observe a moratorium on the publication of preliminary financial statements for at least two weeks.

The FCA states that the pandemic means that the basis on which companies are reporting and planning is changing rapidly and that companies need to give due consideration to events in preparing their disclosures. Observing timetables set before the pandemic may not give companies the necessary time to do this.

The FCA adds that it is in talks with the Financial Reporting Council and the PRA about a package of measures aimed at ensuring companies take the necessary time to prepare appropriate disclosures and address current practical challenges. Details will be announced shortly.

However, the FCA reminds companies of their obligations under the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and listed companies are still required to announce inside information to the market as soon as possible unless a valid reason to delay disclosure under MAR exists.