London is at risk of losing its status as a premier global stock market if it does not act fast to reform rules, the author of a review into London’s capital markets has warned.
Mark Austin, a partner at Freshfields who was commissioned by ministers last year to review how listed firms can raise cash in London, called for a swathe of measures to boost the appeal of London’s markets last week including scrapping the costly prospectus process for most firms and involving retail investors in all fundraising.
In an interview today, Austin warned the measures need to be pushed through for London to retain its status.
“We need to be fleet of foot, ambitious and bold,” Austin told Bloomberg in an interview.
“London was often the go-to option; that is not necessarily the case any more. They are increasingly also eyeing Amsterdam or other venues, be it for valuation, or easier regulation,” he added.
He warned that the Cpaital was in danger of becoming a “regional stock market if it did not boost its appeal.
How warning come as the London Stock Exchange announced the launch of a new UK Capital Markets Industry Taskforce last week chaired by LSE boss Julia Hoggett and featuring names including Austin; Barclays Group Head of Strategic Policy Katherine Braddick; and Peter Harrison, CEO of Schroders.
Hoggett has also been working with ministers in a bid to tempt British chipmaker Arm to float in the capital as it looks set for a New York listing.
She said last week there was still a “very compelling case for Arm to have a dual premium listing in the UK”.
“We should absolutely fight for anything that we think we have a compelling strategy to propose,” she added.
The government has been on a major push to boost the appeal of London’s capital markets, with a major review conducted into the listing regime last year led by Lord Jonathan Hill.