The FCA proposed reducing barriers for companies looking to list in the U.K., with reforms set to increase the market's attractiveness.
A consultation launched Monday outlined a set of proposals to improve the effectiveness of U.K. primary markets. It follows the publication of the U.K. Listing Review and a review of the U.K. fintech market earlier this year.
The FCA noted that the U.K. attracted just 5% of initial public offerings globally between 2015 and 2020, falling from its 40% peak in 2008. Its proposals include allowing a targeted form of dual-class share structures — moving away from the one share, one vote regime — and reducing the percentage of shares that may be held by the public to 10% from 25%, know as the free float, in certain circumstances.
"More companies listing at an earlier stage in their life cycle means more opportunities for investors to share in the returns of those companies as they grow," the FCA said in its consultation paper.
The FCA said it continues to prioritize high standards of corporate governance and shareholder protections. It wants feedback on its proposals by Sept. 14. It intends to make any changes to the rules by the end of the year.
"Effective public markets are critical in enabling companies to finance their businesses, which in turn creates growth and jobs for the U.K. economy," Clare Cole, director of market oversight at the FCA, said in a news release accompanying the paper. "These proposals are essential if we intend for the UK to continue to be a modern and dynamic market. Today, we are acting assertively to meet the needs of an evolving marketplace."