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AIC calls for FSA to backtrack on listing proposals

The Association of Investment Companies has called on the FSA to reconsider its latest proposals on listing rules for investment entities, warning of the potential dangers of a two-tier system.
An FSA consultation released today includes proposals to allow international companies a choice or directive-minimum or super equivalent standards rather than requiring them to be subject to the additional requirements set out in Chapter 15 of the listings rules.
These requirements were strengthened after the split-cap debacle in an attempt to stop a similar situation happening again and industry sources have raised concerns that the move could allow such a scenario being repeated.
The AIC says it hopes to persuade the FSA through the consultation process that a competitive regime and investor protection standards are “not mutually exclusive”.
AIC director general Daniel Godfrey says: “Whilst we understand and share the FSA’s desire to maintain the UK’s competitiveness as a location for listing, we do not believe that the creation of a two tier regime is the right way to go about this.
No matter how the FSA goes about attempting to distinguish the different regimes in the official list or on its website, to the end consumer, investment companies with a full London Stock Exchange listing will be seen as having a badge of quality, no matter which regime they are subject to. The directive minimum regime does not require an appropriate level of investor protection for a LSE listed investment company.”

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