AIM branded a ‘casino’ by US regulator

Stateside watchdogs have delivered a stinging broadside on the  City’s
regulatory standards, branding the AIM market as a ‘casino’.

Roel Campos, an SEC commissioner, likened London’s junior AIM market to a
casino, challenging frequent assurances by Nasdaq that LSE regulations would be
‘ringfenced’ in the event of a takeover by the New York exchange.

The attack came mere weeks after an American bidder failed in its quest to
buy the London Stock Exchange.

‘I’m concerned that 30 per cent of issuers that list on AIM are gone in a
year – that feels like a casino to me,’ Mr Campos said on the sidelines of the
SEC Regulation Outside the US conference in London. ‘It is a losing proposition
to tout lower standards as a way to promote your markets.’

Campos went on to suggest that the LSE would also suffer as a result of AIM
lighter regulatory touch. ‘There’s also a danger with higher standards; if it’s
too affiliated with an exchange that has lower standards, it gets painted with
the same brush.’

The LSE hit back, with an emphatic denial. It said that Campos’ remarks were
‘entirely wrong’.

It said in a statement: ‘they do a disservice to the quality small companies
choosing to join AIM, the institutions choosing to invest in those companies and
the high regulatory standards that the LSE promotes.’

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