A key focus for the 2018 Code is culture and ensuring that it aligns with the Group's purpose, strategy and values. Culture has been high on the Board's agenda for some time and the Board considers culture to be an essential ingredient in meeting our long-term, sustainable returns to shareholders.

Chris Stone

NON-EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN

Dear Shareholder

The Board is committed to creating and maintaining a culture where strong levels of governance thrive throughout the organisation, specifically ensuring that we send out consistent messages on our values and acceptable behaviours for our colleagues, our customers, our suppliers and our advisers.

Governance standards

During the year we complied with all provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code 2016. As a Board we are firmly turning our attention to the requirements of the UK Corporate Governance Code 2018 (2018 Code) and will report against the 2018 Code in our 2020 Annual Report and Accounts. A key focus for the 2018 Code is culture and ensuring that it aligns with the Group's purpose, strategy and values. Culture has been high on the Board's agenda for some time and the Board considers culture to be an essential ingredient in meeting our long-term, sustainable returns to shareholders.

The Board, the Executive Committee and senior management continue to promote the Company's culture and standards throughout the business and lead by example to provide a strong corporate governance framework.

Our approach

As individual Directors we recognise our statutory duty to act in the way we each consider, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the Company for the benefit of its members as a whole, as set out in Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006. Our role as the Board is to set the strategy of the Group and ensure that management operates the business in accordance with this strategy. We believe this approach will promote the Group's long-term success and our customers' interests as well as create value for shareholders and have regard to our other key stakeholders such as our colleagues.

Board tenure