UK stock exchange PLUS Markets Group has called on the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the UK’s financial regulator, to provide a better understanding of the choices and associated risks for firms seeking a full listing in the UK.
The opportunity for increased competition through the listing of companies, funds and other products has existed in the UK since 2000, with the creation of a separate listing authority (the FSA’s UKLA), which operates independently of the stock exchanges.
Now it is able to offer access to London listings, PLUS considers it essential to challenge the historic perceptions of what it means to be officially listed, to raise awareness for new entrants and to re-align the concept of listing with the post-MiFID model of exchange competition. The exchange has recently gained a recognised investment exchange status and says its PLUS-listed market will provide competition and an alternative choice to the London Stock Exchange.
Since the FSA review of the listing regime and the structure of the UK Official List, PLUS is encouraging the regulatory body to promote competition for securities listings across exchanges. The exchange claims that the process by which issuers are able to access such a listing, and the resultant pools of capital, needs further clarity and visibility.
“Competition for primary market listings has so far only been a possibility with the transfer of the listing function to the FSA. It is now a reality following the launch of our PLUS-listed market, which provides a compelling alternative to the offerings of other exchanges,” said Paul Haddock, head of capital markets at PLUS. “However, work needs to be done to build upon the regulatory framework already in place to facilitate such competition, to re-align the listing brand in the public perception with the pro-competitive principles that are already well understood in other parts of the UK equity market post-MiFID.”
He adds, “We therefore welcome the FSA’s review and look forward to a clearer and more competitive regime for the UK.”