Global capital markets: the insights behind the numbers

UK Finance and EY explore the key drivers behind the utilisation and competitiveness of UK capital markets.

There is a clear appetite and willingness amongst UK policy makers and the regulatory community to address deficiencies in markets regulation.

In recent years we have seen an unprecedented number of government initiatives, including the wholesale market review, Lord Hill’s listings review, Sir Ron Kalifa’s review of the UK FinTech landscape, and Mark Austin’s secondary capital raising review to name but a few.

Crucially, these initiatives are not just a collection of ideas that stopped at the publication of their respective reports. Many of the recommendations are now finding their way into legislation via the Financial Services and Markets Bill or into direct guidance via amendments in the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s handbook.

We also have a Capital Markets Industry Taskforce, a Digitisation Taskforce and a Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology – the share trading obligation and double volume cap are now common parlance amongst the public policy community. There has been real progress made, but we need to build on the momentum to further improve UK capital markets – this will require collaboration and idea sharing.

So how do we build on this momentum?

UK Finance and EY will work together to identify and explore the broad, non-regulatory factors that drive and influence decisions made by custodians and deployers of capital, as well as those looking to grow their business using public (or private) markets in the UK.

We plan to conduct a deep insight survey, with interviews across the capital markets eco-system. We will speak to investment banks, investors, private equity, pre-IPO companies, public companies and a range of start-ups.

Through this, we will seek to answer a broad range of questions, such as:

  • What factors lead companies to choose London to access finance, over other international locations?
  • With the benefit of hindsight and experience, what would company founders do differently when undertaking an IPO?
  • To what extent have UK capital markets specifically benefitted companies (both listed and unlisted) in achieving their objectives?
  • How do UK investors view established companies versus newer high risk, high growth companies – is that perception a factor in where companies list?
  • Are the initiatives to make it easier to come to – and stay in – the UK to grow a business well communicated to international companies the UK is trying to attract?

Exploring these topics requires those in the capital markets ecosystem – both recipients and users – to share their experiences and insights, much of which does not find its way into ‘classical market data’. This means we will be creating research findings that are new and truly insightful.

Speaking to those who are engaging with the UK markets should reveal key market sentiments, and in turn help us better adapt our system to make it fit for the 21st century. To support not only long-standing companies who continue to invest and grow in the UK, but also new innovative companies that will play an increasingly important role in the UK’s economic future.

We plan to publish our findings in the first half of 2023, and hope that it will be an important contribution to the markets reform agenda and evolution of UK capital markets, enhancing awareness of how capital markets support the real economy.

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