BASSAM RAJAB AND MOSSISON HANDLEY-SCHACHLER, NAPIER UNIVERSITY, UK
Abstract: There has been considerable debate on risk disclosure adequacy and usefulness to the users. Recently, a number of proposals and documents were released and new accounting standards were issued to encourage companies’ directors to report on risk in a greater depth. Using content analysis of 156 annual reports prepared by 52 UK listed companies over the period of 1998-2004, this study examines and explores risk disclosure practice with the aim of establishing trends. The study also relates the extent of risk disclosure to firm-specific characteristics. Overall, the results show an upward trend in the level of information disclosed during the six-year period. The study discuses and comments on the form and nature of information disclosed. We found industry type and US dual listing variables to be related to the level of risk information disclosed by the sample companies, with industrial and US-London-dual-listed companies having higher disclosure levels. However, the empirical evidence shows total risk disclosure is not related to size and leverage.
Keywords: Risk Disclosure, Firm Characteristics, UK Companies