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Financial Conduct Authority Proposes New Rules to Encourage Companies to List in the UK

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposed new rules aimed at making the UK’s listing regime more accessible, effective, and competitive.

In its proposals, the FCA has kept the suggested change to a simplified listing regime with a single listing category, with streamlined eligibility and ongoing requirements, aimed at encouraging a greater range of companies to list in the UK and compete on the global stage. 

The FCA has also retained the idea, set out in the earlier consultation, of moving to a disclosure-based regime – one that puts sufficient information in the hands of investors, so they can influence company behaviour and decide how they want to invest. 

The FCA is suggesting disclosures for significant transactions while keeping sponsor scrutiny of related party transactions, rather than the current mandatory votes. Shareholder approval for key events such as reverse takeovers and de-listing would, however, remain. 

The proposals could entail an increased possibility of failures, but the changes set out would better reflect the risk appetite the economy needs to achieve growth.   

The FCA now wants to hear from all sides of the market on the detailed proposals before a decision is made on the final rules. 

The FCA is also delivering a key element of the Edinburgh Reforms by confirming the regulatory regime for a bond market consolidated tape. The tape will provide investors with trade and sales data quicker and more cheaply. The FCA is introducing a consolidated tape for bonds, for which the UK is one of the world’s largest markets, before outlining next steps for shares in 2024.  

Additionally, measures to increase the information that is published in real time have been set out which will improve the bond and derivative markets’ ability to establish a fair price, and help investors buy or sell. These proposals will make sure that data that will go into the forthcoming bond consolidated tape is standardised, complete and of high-quality. 

The proposals will help investors hold their brokers accountable which will improve the competition for their services and enable market participants to manage risk and maintain market stability. 

VCWire

05/01/2024