On 23 March 2020, the FCA issued a short statement on UK markets explaining why it has so far not introduced a ban on short selling.
The statement provides:
“The FCA continues closely to monitor market activity, including short selling activity. Aggregate net short selling activity reported to FCA is low as a percentage of total market activity and has decreased in recent days. It will continue to fluctuate, but there is no evidence that short selling has been the driver of recent market falls.
A great many investment and risk management strategies rely on the ability to take ‘long’ and ‘short’ positions. These benefit a wide range of ordinary investors including the pension funds for employees of companies and local government. We also note that short selling is a critical underpinning of liquidity provision. The loss of these benefits would need to be carefully balanced before determining that any intervention to prevent short selling was appropriate.”