Proposals signal that the UK government is willing to diverge significantly from EU rules.

By Rob Moulton and Charlotte Collins

On 1 July 2021, HM Treasury published a consultation on its Wholesale Markets Review. The Review was established to determine how the UK’s approach to regulating secondary markets needs to adapt post-Brexit, and to ensure that the framework is flexible enough to adapt to future challenges and opportunities. HM Treasury is also consulting separately on changes to the UK prospectus regime.

While the government and the regulators have already made or consulted on a number of changes to the UK regulatory framework post-Brexit, these changes have targeted specific areas and have not signalled fundamental change. For example, the FCA’s recent consultation on changes to MiFID proposed amendments that are similar to those already agreed in the EU. However, the Review represents the UK’s most significant and far-reaching proposals to date, indicating that the UK government is not afraid to diverge substantially from EU standards where it feels this is best for UK markets. Indeed, no longer does there seem to be a concern about maintaining equivalence with EU standards.