Stock exchange merger poses regulation questions

A statement claiming no amendments are needed to the Financial Services and Markets Bill as a result of the merger was delivered in the Lords.

Chief Whip Lord McIntosh of Haringey said the FSA would reveal ‘as and when it thinks fit’ the results of discussions it is having with the German regulator, but warned ‘the regulatory framework of the Bill is an appropriate one and therefore there is no need for any amendment.’

He also dismissed as ‘fanciful’ Tory fears that the talks would result in a super Euro-regulator to cope with the amalgamation of markets.

He was replying during detailed debates in the Lords on the Bill to a series of challenges from Tory spokesman Lord Saatchi demanding who will be the listings authority, whether the merger was envisaged when the Bill was drafted, what last minute changes would be needed to take it into account and how the FSA would discharge its role.

Saatchi also insisted on an assurance ‘that the FSA will not be merged with the German regulator or with a new European super- regulator without coming back to Parliament first’.

McIntosh said the FSA would need to look carefully at the regulatory implications, but his understanding was that the merged company would be based in and managed from London.

He said the LSE and Deutsche Borse had said they did not envisage any change in the regulatory arrangements for national markets and any regulator at the European Community level would require fresh EU legislation.

He added that the Bill had already been changed to take LSE de- regulation into account and the competent authority for listings would continue to be the FSA. Saatchi complained that meant two listings authorities and only one exchange – with the German authority applying different requirements.

McIntosh said host country regulation would apply until other regulatory authorities in Europe reach London standards, when home state regulation would apply

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