The world's biggest banks and money managers are among supporters of a plan to cut London stock trading hours by 90 minutes to promote health and diversity.
The Investment Association and the Association for Financial Markets in Europe, which represent firms including BlackRock Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase, favor a seven-hour market day, starting at 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. London Stock Exchange Group's consultation on plans to change its stock trading hours changes closes Friday.
"It's high time we end the long hours culture, which is detrimental to diversity and mental health, and inefficient for the markets," said Galina Dimitrova, director of capital markets at the IA. "We will be looking for exchanges across Europe to follow suit and engage with their members to explore next steps, as the case for shorter market hours is clear."
Supporters of a shorter day have said it would make the market more efficient, bring London more into line with European trading hours and also address concerns over work-life balance and gender diversity. And even at seven hours, the European trading day would still be longer than in the U.S. while continuing to overlap with American trading. London markets are currently open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Investment Association highlighted that the U.S. market has shorter trading hours, but six times the turnover and a much lower cost of trading during the day. The two lobby groups said they would support a 12-month pilot across all major European exchanges and trading venues.