The number of votes processed was 210,801 last year, up from 162,673 in 2021 and 45,753 in 2019.
AGM attendance also increased, according to ii metrics. The platform measures attendance by the number of unique accounts requesting letters of representation. There were 720 letters sent in 2022, up from 359 in 2021 and beating pre-pandemic levels of 651 in 2019.
However, the platform said the picture is “nuanced”, as the percentage of votes used fell in the 12 months from 14% to 8%.
“This is likely because, having enrolled the wider customer base, the ability to vote on interactive investor is no longer the preserve of those with a more natural inclination to do so,” the company said in a press release.
In November 2021, interactive investor made shareholder notifications for UK listed securities opt out rather than opt in.
Richard Wilson, chief executive , interactive investor, said: “Private investors can have a powerful collective influence over a company’s conduct and future direction through their vote, should they wish to use it. And we believe it is our duty to facilitate this.”
Wilson went on to say that UK PLC should not be let “off the hook” and “shareholder communications need to be far better tailored to private investors, who have been disenfranchised by legalese for too long”.
Last year, the platform began a campaign asking UK financial authorities to introduce guidance on plain English, similar to one produced by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
interactive investors also measured the companies with the most voted shares in 2022. Lloyds topped the list followed by BP, GSK, Aviva and Vodafone.
Lee Wild, head of equity strategy at the company, highlighted that Lloyds is the most widely owned stock, hence the popularity.
However, some of the stocks on the top ten were more controversial.
“Aviva used its annual get-together to wave through a £4.75bn return of capital, but it was the behaviour of some shareholders that grabbed the headlines, and for the wrong reasons,” Wild explained.
“Sexist comments aimed at Amanda Blanc, Aviva’s first female CEO, proved there is still work to be done eradicating behaviour more fitting to the Dark Ages. A topic very much of the modern age continued to cause chaos at AGMs held by the major oil companies.”
He also noted the meetings of Shell and BP, which saw voters asking the companies to do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
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