Part IVManagement and Administration

Accounts and Audit

157Directors report to be attached to balance sheet

(1)There shall be attached to every balance sheet laid before a company in general meeting a report by the directors with respect to the state of the company's affairs, the amount, if any, which they recommend should be paid by way of dividend, and the amount, if any, which they propose to carry to reserves within the meaning of the Eighth Schedule to this Act.

(2)The said report shall deal, so far as is material for the appreciation of the state of the company's affairs by its members and will not in the directors' opinion be harmful to the business of the company or of any of its subsidiaries, with any change during the financial year in the nature of the company's business, or in the company's subsidiaries, or in the classes of business in which the company has an interest, whether as member of another company or otherwise.

(3)If any person being a director of a company fails to take all reasonable steps to comply with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, he shall, in respect of each offence, be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding two hundred pounds:

Provided that,—

(a)in any proceedings, against a person in respect of an offence under the said subsection (1), it shall be a defence to prove that he had reasonable ground to believe and did believe that a competent and reliable person was charged with the duty of seeing that the provisions of that subsection were complied with and was in a position to discharge that duty; and

(b)a person shall not be liable to be sentenced to imprisonment for such an offence unless, in the opinion of the court dealing with the case, the offence was committed wilfully.