UK’s Chancellor of Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is expected to propose norms that would enable the blocking of companies from being listed on the London Stock Exchange on the grounds of a national security threat. Sunak would start deliberations on the proposals next month itself. The move is said to be a step towards improving the reputation of the Square Mile by cleaning it up.
The new rules would authorise ministers to have more power to intervene under suspicion that a floatation might go against national interests. A Treasury spokesperson said that the UK’s reputation of a transparent market is why it is attractive as a global financial centre. In order to strengthen this image, the government would block listings that threaten national security, and it would begin consultations to come up with the design of the new rule in the coming months. Currently, a company’s eligibility to get listed on the London Stock Exchange is decided by the UK Listing Authority, which is a part of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
However, Sunak’s plans would lead to some listings being transferred to the National Security Council. But leaders from the financial sectors also fear that such rules could hamper foreign investment as London is one of the global financial nerve centres.