The FCA has published consultation paper CP14/2 setting out proposed amendments to the Listing Rules in relation to sponsor competence and other amendments to the Listing Rules and Prospectus Rules. CP14/2 contains the following points and proposals:
- the FCA’s proposals to amend the Listing Rules and Guidance on sponsor competence, including the introduction of a new Procedural Note and a new Technical Note into the UKLA Knowledge Base;
- a requirement that sponsors must have submitted a sponsor declaration to the FCA within a recent specified period of time, which the FCA proposes should be three years;
- the sponsor would need to adopt and apply an appropriate “competence framework” which it would embed within its existing systems and controls. A competence framework would be required to contain a minimum five “competency sets”, which are set out in the proposals;
- amendments relating to the named point of contact between the sponsor and the UKLA;
- a proposal that new sponsor applicants may apply for a limitation or restriction on their approval in order to facilitate applications from sponsors that only wish to provide sponsor services for premium listed investment companies;
- questions for market participants on how well the joint sponsor regime is operating in practice, which the FCA is seeking views on to determine whether any changes should be made;
- proposals to make a number of miscellaneous changes for the purposes of clarification to the rules in LR 8;
- a proposal to remove the Listing Rule requirement for a premium listed issuer to prepare a 28-day circular; and
- a proposal to introduce new Prospectus Rules to make it clear that an applicant is responsible for submitting a compliant and factually accurate prospectus.
Responses to the consultation are requested by 30 April 2014. The FCA has confirmed that it intends to publish its feedback in the last quarter of 2014.