On the 17 February 2011, HM Treasury published its second stage consultation on the Government's planned financial regulation shake-up, which transfers much of the FSA's current responsibility for the conduct of business regulations and the UK Listing Authority (UKLA) to a new body, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The consultation focuses on finalising the objectives of each part of the new regulatory structure including:
- the financial policy committee of the Bank of England;
- the Prudential Regulation Authority; and
- the Financial Conduct Authority.
In terms of the UKLA, the consultation specifically explores changing some of the powers currently available to the body, in particular:
- allowing the UKLA to discontinue or suspend a listing at the request of an issuer without following the warning notice and decision notice procedure;
- extending the UKLA’s powers to impose sanctions on sponsors for breaches of UKLA rules;
- extending the limitation period for taking action for breaches of the listing rules from two years to three years;
- allowing the UKLA to require a listed issuer to have a skilled person prepare a report on a matter in respect of which the UKLA could require information to be supplied;
- giving the UKLA the power to make rules for, and impose sanctions on, primary information providers (PIPs), organisations which channel news from issuers to the UKLA and announce information to the market; and
- removing the provisions which allow the UKLA functions to be transferred to another authority.
The QCA Legal Committee is currently examining this paper and will submit a response.