Financial regulator sets out further reforms to improve markets and bolster competitiveness

by | Jul 5, 2023

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A series of measures to help strengthen the UK’s leading position as a global and vibrant financial centre have been announced by The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

To help all investors make better, more timely decisions, the FCA is proposing to set up a consolidated tape (CT), so they can get clear and low-cost trading data. 

A CT combines multiple sources of trading data into one stream of information. This will increase transparency and access to trading data by lowering its cost and improving data quality.  

The FCA is proposing a CT first for bonds, where the UK has a leading global market, followed by equities. The FCA intends to run a competitive tender process to appoint a single CT provider for bonds.  

As part of the Edinburgh reforms, the FCA is working with the government with the aim of having the regulatory framework in place by 2024. By building a more complete picture of the market, a CT will reinforce the UK’s position as a leading centre for the listing and trading of bonds.  

The FCA will consult on further reforms to bond and derivative transparency requirements later this year, with the aim of creating a simpler and more effective regime which will enhance the content and delivery of trade data in UK markets alongside the CT. 

Other announcements by the FCA today will support wholesale markets and wider competitiveness: 

Guidance on the trading venue perimeter 

To further support innovation and the development of new technologies, the FCA has issued more guidance, which reconfirms the current rules, addressing queries that market participants have made to level the playing field and let firms know when they may require authorisation as a trading venue. The guidance will come into force in October 2023. 

Support for firms expanding into and across the UK 

Building on its existing support for new entrants to financial services, the FCA is launching a new pre-application support service (PASS) for overseas wholesale firms and their advisers wishing to expand into the UK, firms already in the UK but planning to set up in the devolved nations and outside the south-east, and those with innovative, complex or high-risk business models. 

The service, starting in July, will see more support, such as pre-application meetings and the opportunity for FCA speakers to talk about the wholesale firm authorisation process at industry events, roundtables and conferences.  

Sarah Pritchard, executive director of markets and executive director of international at the FCA, said: “We are adapting our rules to make sure the UK market works well, providing certainty for firms and so providing a good environment for investment. 

“The new consolidated tape will help reduce trading costs, increase transparency and improve data quality. 

“Our other measures announced today aim to further support the UK’s thriving financial services sector.”  

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