View: Politicians interfering in IPOs is a recipe for disaster


If you wanted to show that London is open for business after Brexit, there are better ways to do it than to give the government vague powers over who is allowed to list on its markets. Unfortunately, that seems to be exactly what has happened without much of the City even realising it.

You may recall that in May, Rishi Sunak said he planned to combat the scourge of dirty money in London’s financial markets by issuing a consultation to give the government powers to block IPOs where the companies involved posed a threat to national security.

Not that many people noticed, but the Treasury actually followed through on that promise on 7 June, setting out its stall on how it wants those powers to look. The resulting document is thin, raising more questions than answers, mainly around whether such new powers are actually necessary, and whether they risk giving ministers unprecedented opportunities to stifle London’s competitiveness based on whatever…

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