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Enhancing Transparency and Accessibility: FCA's Proposals for UK Listing Regime and Market Reform

In a bid to foster accessibility, effectiveness, and competitiveness within the UK's financial markets, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently unveiled a series of proposals set to revamp the nation's listing regime and improve transparency across various market segments. With the publication of Consultation Papers CP23/31, CP23/32, and CP23/33, the FCA outlined detailed measures aimed at reshaping the landscape of equity, bond, and derivatives markets while ensuring investor confidence and market integrity.

CP23/31: Redesigning the UK Listing Regime

The cornerstone of the FCA's proposals lies in the restructuring of the UK's listing regime, which seeks to streamline processes and enhance accessibility for issuers while safeguarding investor interests. Building upon earlier consultations, CP23/31 introduces a new 'commercial companies' category for equity share listings, effectively replacing the current 'premium' and 'standard' listing segments. This strategic shift is designed to strike a balance between issuer flexibility and investor protection, with a focus on comprehensive disclosure and market integrity. Additionally, the proposal addresses various equity and non-equity listing categories, providing a comprehensive framework to accommodate diverse market needs.

One of the significant changes proposed is the creation of a new 'UK Listing Rules' sourcebook (UKLR), signalling a fresh regulatory approach tailored to the evolving dynamics of the financial landscape. Stakeholders are invited to contribute their insights and feedback, with deadlines set for specific proposals to ensure thorough deliberation and effective implementation.

CP23/32: Enhancing Transparency in Bond and Derivatives Markets

Recognising the need for greater transparency in bond and derivatives markets, the FCA unveiled CP23/32 as part of the Wholesale Markets Review. This consultation paper proposes revisions to the existing transparency framework, aiming to redefine market dynamics and improve post-trade information dissemination. By clarifying exemptions, refining definitions, and enhancing post-trade content, the FCA endeavours to foster a more transparent and efficient market ecosystem, driving better price formation while mitigating industry costs.

CP23/33: Facilitating Data Provision and Market Oversight

In line with efforts to bolster market oversight and data provision, CP23/33 introduces proposals for payments to data providers and the establishment of a UK Consolidated Tape (CT) for bond market data. With the goal of consolidating provisions related to Approved Reporting Mechanisms (ARMs) and Approved Publication Arrangements (APAs), the FCA seeks to streamline regulatory frameworks and enhance operational efficiency across trading venues and data reporting services.

Furthermore, the FCA's Policy Statement outlines the final position on rules and guidance for the bond CT, offering clarity and direction for market participants. As the financial landscape continues to evolve, the FCA anticipates the establishment of a bond CT provider in the second half of 2025, underscoring its commitment to advancing market transparency and accessibility.

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