New listing rule will not be light touch, says FSA

THE Financial Services Authority (FSA) yesterday insisted that measures to make it easier for UK companies to list in London did not amount to &ldquo;light touch&rdquo; regulation.<br /><br />The City watchdog will this week unveil plans to allow UK companies to apply for a &ldquo;standard&rdquo; listing, equivalent to the &ldquo;secondary&rdquo; listing process currently available only to overseas companies.<br /><br />The &ldquo;standard&rdquo; procedure will be less demanding than a &ldquo;premium&rdquo; listing, previously known as &ldquo;primary&rdquo;, which includes strict requirements in areas such as corporate governance and capital base.<br /><br />An FSA spokesman said the new rules were about &ldquo;creating a level playing field&rdquo;, to make it easier for UK companies to list if they did not want to opt for the &ldquo;premium&rdquo; process.<br /><br />The spokesman said the change would make listing rules clearer, &ldquo;providing protection for investors&rdquo; and denied that it amounted to a return to so-called &ldquo;light touch&rdquo; regulation.<br /><br />The criteria for a &ldquo;standard&rdquo; listing fulfil the minimum required under European Union law and will still be more rigorous than those required for a listing on AIM, the spokesman added.