Shearman & Sterling LLP | FinReg | UK Government Consults on Revised UK Short Selling Regime
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  • UK Government Consults on Revised UK Short Selling Regime

    HM Treasury has published its response to the Short Selling Regulation Review, which sought views on the proposed U.K. short selling regime. Once the new U.K. regime for short selling is finalized, the retained EU Short Selling Regulation will be revoked under the revocation framework established by the U.K. Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 (which we discuss in our client note, "A Boost for U.K. Financial Services: The U.K. Financial Services and Markets Act 2023"). A draft statutory instrument for the new U.K. regime is expected to be published before the end of 2023, with the final S.I. being delivered during the course of 2024. The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority will also consult on proposed rules for the new framework in 2024.
    The proposed regime is intended to represent a "lighter-touch" approach that will facilitate short selling and its benefits while managing the associated risks. The changes will: (i) increase the net short position disclosure threshold from 0.1% to 0.2%; (ii) replace the current requirement to disclose all short positions over 0.5% with a new disclosures model, whereby the FCA will publish aggregated short positions in each company's shares (removing the need to reveal the identity of individual sellers); and (iii) empower the FCA to make rules on areas such as exempt share arrangements, the market maker exemption requirements and prohibitions on uncovered short selling.

    HM Treasury has also published a consultation proposing to scrap Short Selling Regulation requirements for short positions in sovereign debt and sovereign credit default swaps. It is proposed that the FCA would still be able to intervene in these markets in exceptional circumstances. Responses to the FCA's consultation may be submitted until August 7, 2023.

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