Two UK MPs have insisted that the reputation of UK corporate governance must be safeguarded as regulators consider a new listing category for companies with a sovereign owner.
Nicky Morgan, chair of the House of Commons treasury committee, and Rachel Reeves, chair of the business committee, have written to the markets regulator at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), stating that a current consultation raises concerns about the UK’s corporate governance.
The consultation has been widely reported as an effort to prepare listing rules in a way that would win the listing of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Aramco.
Morgan and Reeves have written to FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey. Brexit looms large as an underlying issue in the listing question.
Morgan said: “The UK has a world-class reputation for upholding strong corporate governance. The FCA must protect this reputation, especially as the City looks to remain competitive and thrive post-Brexit.
“Any changes mustn’t dilute the protection afforded by the ‘premium listing’ brand. The issues raised in the FCA’s consultation will no doubt be examined by the Treasury Committee.”
Reeves added: “The FCA’s consultation relating to its premium listing regime raises questions about the UK’s reputation for sound corporate governance.
“As we leave the European Union, it’s important the UK seizes new opportunities for business but it should not be at the expense of diminished corporate governance standards.
“Getting this balance right will be vital to the UK’s long-term future as a key financial centre and an attractive market-place place for investors.”