Shareholders Are Encouraged to Use E-Voting, Proxies Solicitation Should Follow the Regulations
When companies convene shareholder meetings, shareholders can choose to attend in person or make their voice heard by casting electronic votes on each motion. The practice can achieve shareholder activism and protect shareholders’ rights. To comply with the government’s pandemic containment policies, the Taiwan Depository & Clearing Corporation (TDCC) has been encouraging investors to attend shareholder meetings through e-voting, which can help exercise their voting rights related to voting and elections.
According to the Regulations Governing the Use of Proxies for Attendance at Shareholder Meetings of Public Companies formulated by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), relevant regulations must be followed for proxy solicitation. Before solicitation, proxy solicitors should ensure that issuers receive the required documents prior to the required date and a copy of the said documents should be sent to the Securities and Futures Institute (SFI). Only the solicitors and solicitation sites on the list that have been reported to the TDCC can conduct solicitation activities and collect proxies. All solicitors and soliciting entities must strictly abide by the regulations. Before shareholders submit their proxies, they should review solicitors’ written and advertising information to know more about their stances on the motions of shareholder meetings. Therefore, shareholders can see if solicitors’ stances are good for their invested companies’ future operations and if their rights are protected.
Companies holding shareholder meetings are not allowed to get involved in solicitation activities. Individuals who are not solicitors are not allowed to ask shareholders to deliver their proxies through phone calls, letters, or any other methods. Violators will have to give up the voting right of the proxies they have obtained. Other than that, the competent authorities will impose an administrative fine of NT$240,000 to NT$4.8 million to the violators in accordance with Article 178 of Securities and Exchange Act.
If investors find that solicitors or people collecting proxies are unlawfully purchasing shareholders’ proxies with money or other benefits, they can report to the TDCC with concrete evidence regarding the said individuals, events, time, places, and objects. The whistleblowing hotline is 02-25473733 and the reporting email is email@example.com. A whistleblower reward will be provided once the reported case is investigated and verified, as well as a punishment is finalized by the competent authorities.