Rishi Sunak is preparing to lay out plans to block companies from listing on the London Stock Exchange on national security grounds amid growing fears of businesses being backed by “dirty money”, it was reported last night.
The chancellor plans to launch a consultation within two weeks, with proposals for stricter rules on flotations.
In October The Times reported that the chancellor planned to take on new powers to block companies from listing in London.
At present, the UK Listing Authority, which is part of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is responsible for deciding what companies can list on the exchange. The Financial Times has reported that Sunak is seeking to enhance those powers by taking into account national security grounds, which would be managed by government ministers and National Security Council officials.
The limits to regulation were laid bare three years ago when the stock exchange listed En+, an energy company associated with the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. He has previously been accused of having close ties to President Putin, which he has denied, and is subject to US sanctions. Despite this, the FCA was unable to prevent the listing.
By Miranda Bryant, May 26, 2021, published on The Times