On 13 May 2015 we submitted our proposals to amend the Prospectus Directive and comments on the Capital Markets Union following the launch of the European Commission's Green Paper on Capital Markets Union and the European Commission's consultation on the Prospectus Directive in February this year.
Our response to the European Commission public consultation on the review of the Prospectus Directive includes proposals developed by a Quoted Companies Alliance expert working group which has discussed them with policymakers and regulators in London and Brussels ahead of their submission.
Our proposals are designed to help small and mid-size quoted companies to raise finance more efficiently and effectively, whilst ensuring a high-level of investor protection, and include:
- Introducing separate regimes for IPOs and secondary public offers,
- Creating a shorter, more focused fundraising document for all secondary public offers,
- Addressing how a prospectus gets approved by the national competent authority,
- Increasing the thresholds below which a prospectus does not have to be produced, and
- Creating a specific prospectus regime for the forthcoming SME growth markets.
Each of these proposals has been developed with small and mid-size quoted companies in mind so that the regulatory requirements are appropriate and fit for purpose.
Click here to see the press release.
We have also responded to the European Commission Green Paper – Building a Capital Markets Union. We welcomed that the first priority for early action listed in the Green Paper is a re-evaluation of the prospectus regime in order to lower the barriers to accessing capital markets and also how to boost the take-up of SME Growth Markets.
We supported other areas identified for short term action, particularly widening the investor base for quoted SMEs to build an efficient and sustainable capital market for quoted SMEs. Notwithstanding this, we highlighted other key points that should be added to the list of priorities for early action, as they are essential to ensuring the success of the Capital Markets Union initiative, namely
- Assessing the regulatory landscape
- Building on the ecosystem for SME Growth Markets
- Creating an SME Asset Class
- Designing appropriate indices
- Secondary Market Pilot Schemes
Finally, we identified a number of regulatory and behavioural issues in public equity markets that make raising finance on these markets more difficult, less efficient and less effective for SMEs, especially when compared to other forms of finance available to them. Wherever possible, we also highlighted possible policy solutions to alleviate these issues and, ultimately, make public equity markets more accessible for SMEs. The response is available here.