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On the Spring Budget overall:

“Aligning the UK’s wealth with some of our most innovative companies has the potential to reinvigorate public equity markets, whether through a new UK-focused ISA or pension funds that must disclose just how much they back Britain.

“Operating across a range of industries and all across the country, our members need capital to fulfil their potential. Today’s measures could spark billions of pounds of extra investment, long-term savings we hope can grow as these small and midcap stocks do.

“There are additional important measures – scrapping stamp duty on share trading, restoring equity research and digitising antiquated ownership records – that we will continue to press for, but today’s progress is warmly welcomed.”

On pension fund reform:

“There is huge upside to aligning the UK’s financial assets with innovative homegrown ventures that could be tomorrow’s world beaters. We welcome these new disclosure requirements for defined contribution pension funds (and the promise of additional measures if improvements are not seen) and hope that they are the first step to many UK investors discovering the numerous high-potential companies whose shares are traded on their doorstep.

“In addition, the Chancellor’s announcement that local government pensions will have to make disclosures by as early as 2024 will hopefully provide the stimulus for other pension funds to follow suit and begin disclosing before 2027.”

On ISAs:

“Channelling more capital from various sources, including from UK savers, into our most promising growth companies would produce sizeable benefits. It would not only allow companies to expand and develop, but would also allow individuals to reap the financial rewards produced by the growth of these businesses. The establishment of the British ISA (following consultation) is the first step towards making this happen. We are encouraged by the government’s decision to take this forward, with an additional £5,000 allowance for investment into UK companies, as we proposed in our Budget submission, and we look forward to continue working with the Treasury as the proposals are developed.”


“The plans for a new trading venue aimed at privately owned companies is a welcome addition to the UK’s equity market infrastructure. Dubbed the Private Intermittent Securities and Capital Exchange System, or PISCES for short, the new venue will help to bridge the gap between private and public markets and hopefully signal to these companies the virtues of having their shares publicly traded. We look forward to working with the government and responding to the consultation.”

On NatWest:

“The sale of shares in NatWest to the general public first announced in the Autumn Statement 2023 and confirmed to go ahead as early as this summer is timely. Hopefully the share sale will replicate the “Tell Sid” advertising campaign of the 1980s which saw hundreds of thousands of people buy shares in British Gas.”

On stamp duty:

“It is disappointing to see that the government has decided not to take forward any proposals around stamp duty on share trading. The UK desperately needs a recalibration around investment by lowering or removing elements of the quadruple taxation of equities. Dividend tax, capital gains tax, income tax and the transaction tax (via stamp duty) all act as disincentives to invest. Scrapping stamp tax on UK investments is not only a simple means to re-incentivise investment that would come at a limited cost to the Exchequer if implemented for smaller listed companies on the London Stock Exchange, but would also restore the UK’s competitiveness by bringing us in line with the likes of the US and Germany.”

On Digitisation:

“The modernisation of the UK’s financial services infrastructure is much needed, and the exploration of the means to digitise the shareholding framework is welcome. However, the omission from the Budget in relation to an update of the Taskforce’s work is discouraging. We expressed concerns around the preferred model indicated in the Interim Report and hope that these concerns are being addressed, but urge the government to move swiftly on this important area of reform.”

On research:

“The Investment Research Review, led by Rachel Kent, which concluded last summer, contained several recommendations that have the potential to materially increase the volume and quality of equity research in the UK. To see no further developments in this space after the promise of consultation in the Autumn Statement 2023 is disheartening. If the UK has a genuine desire to halt de-equitisation, this is one area that could help to reverse this trend.”

If you have any questions in relation to any of the above, please get in touch with the QCA’s Policy team by emailing,, or

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