Government seeks to shore up London’s status as a financial hub
Over the past week, there has been substantial media coverage which is developing a narrative around the decline of the City of London and public companies moving from the UK to the US.
In particular, the announcements yesterday that chip designer ARM and CRH, the world’s largest building materials company, are moving their listings to New York in addition to the news that betting company Flutter is to seek a secondary US listing, are all featuring prominently in the media.
It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that City Minister Andrew Griffith sought to address the issue of LSE listings in a speech to the FIX trading conference today. Setting out the next steps of the government’s agenda for the financial services sector, Griffith provided more detail on the government’s plans to launch a review into how investor research on companies could be improved to attract more listings. The Investment Research Review will be launched next Monday and chaired by Rachel Kent, a financial services lawyer at Hogan Lovells, who will report back to the Treasury within three months.
This measure, part of the Chancellor’s flagship ‘Edinburgh Reforms’ which positioned the plans for the review as part of the government's moves to take advantage of the regulatory freedoms afforded it by the UK’s exit from the EU.
Both the government and the Labour party have placed a lot of focus on protect London’s status as an international hub for financial services, with Labour making driving up LSE listings a core part of its Start Up, Scale Up report in December. As we stare down the long campaign into the next general election, its clear that this is an issue which is unlikely to go away.