2023 was a busy year for the Policy Team at the QCA. In a year that saw DBT roll back on additional reporting requirements, the FRC withdraw the majority of its proposed changes to the UK Code, and the government announce its Mansion House reforms with a focus on funneling capital into unlisted equities, we believe that our message of creating a proportionate and pro-growth regulatory environment is being heard by the government and regulators.
With 26 policy consultations submitted in 2023, we had one of our most productive years yet. Across those 26 submissions, we responded to the Treasury; the Department for Business and Trade; the Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero; the FCA; the FRC; the Takeover Panel; IASB and the Pensions Regulator.
Our consultation responses were made possible by the QCA’s 7 member-led expert groups whose expertise informs our policy positions. Throughout the year, our expert groups met regularly to discuss the latest policy and regulatory developments that impact small and medium-sized quoted companies. Key speakers from across the sector addressed each group including representatives from the Treasury, DBT, the FRC, the FCA and the LSE, to name a few.
Alongside our regular expert group meetings, we hosted 8 policy events with leading voices in the capital markets space. Some of the main highlights included bringing together our membership community with Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Bim Afolami MP, in December, as well as a breakfast event with Mark Austin in the Spring.
The new Code was just one of 9 reports, publications and private submissions that we released in 2023. We conducted much-needed research into the ever-increasing length of annual reports, wrote a review on adoption of the QCA Code – which found that around 900 companies apply our Code – and produced a report on investor attitudes towards ESG.
As part of its financial services review, we offered Labour our views on the reforms needed to channel investment into AIM stocks, arrest the decline in companies staying quoted in London, and reinvigorate the UK’s public markets.
As we move into an election year in 2024, we will continue to advocate for the interests of the UK’s small and mid-cap community through our ongoing engagement with politicians and regulators.