U.K. Open to Further Overhaul of Listing Rules to Lure Business

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Britain’s financial markets regulator is considering additional changes to the country’s stock-market listing rules in an attempt to capitalize on Brexit to attract more business to the City of London.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s chief executive officer Nikhil Rathi said in prepared remarks for a speech Tuesday that the regulator will seek feedback next month on ways of “removing other barriers to companies listing” after already this year proposing to ease certain restrictions on special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.

“We have an opportunity to act assertively to meet the needs of an evolving marketplace,” Rathi said at the virtual City & Financial Global conference of industry executives and regulators. “Leaving the EU has given us the freedom to tailor our rules to better suit U.K. markets.”

The FCA’s consultation is likely to respond to recommendations by Jonathan Hill, a former British financial services commissioner for the European Union. In a report this year, Hill advised introducing dual-class share ownership to let company founders keep greater voting power as well as cutting the amount of equity a company must sell to outsiders.

The FCA effort is the latest in a series of steps by the U.K. government to review regulations since Britain fully left the EU at the start of the year. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and the world’s biggest banks have shifted thousands of staff and billions of dollars in assets to the EU from London, while the U.K. this year lost its crown to Amsterdam as the region’s top place to buy and sell stock.

A separate consultation from the U.K. Treasury in coming weeks is expected to include changes to trading regulations, commodity derivatives markets and market data.

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