Regulators should be more proactive in addressing financial risk and corporate governance, to ensure that rewards reflect performance and risks that are genuinely taken by investors:
- In future price controls, regulators should take direct account of information asymmetries in assessing the weighted average cost of capital and total expenditure allowances, ‘aiming off’ to ensure a fair outcome for consumers and investors
- In future price controls, regulators should introduce outperformance sharing mechanisms to allow consumers to share in the benefits that equity investors achieve from high gearing, where companies have gearing levels which significantly exceed the level assumed by the regulators
- For natural monopoly companies, regulators should evaluate the case for an absolute cap on gearing
- For firms with a natural monopoly, regulators should ensure executive salaries are demonstrably linked to long-term performance for consumers and the public.