Tuesday 5 November 2019 3:55 pm

UK mulls change in IPO rules to attract tech startups

Downing Street has reportedly held discussions with representatives from the investment industry about changing the UK’s listing rules to encourage high-growth firms such as tech startups to float in London.

The talks were part of a push by Number 10 to help boost the City after the UK leaves the EU at the end of January, the Financial Times reported, citing three people familiar with the discussions.

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Possible rule changes were explored as a means of attracting fast-growing companies to hold their initial public offerings (IPO) in London rather than competitors such as Hong Kong or New York.

Changes to the regulations had been one of the key recommendations made by Downing Street’s financial services business council, which was established under former prime minister Theresa May, earlier this year.

The talks reportedly included Treasury and business department officials as well as representatives from trade associations including the Investment Association (IA) and UK Finance.

Potential measures explored to lure more listings included the use of dual class structures, which are popular among founder-led startups, as well as relaxing the requirement to report earnings quarterly.

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Number 10 was not considering any legislative changes during the discussions, according to the Financial Times.

The department for business, the Treasury, the LSE, the IA and UK Finance declined to comment on the reports.