We previously reported that the UKLA was proposing to create the ‘UKLA Knowledge Base’, a single repository for all technical guidance including Procedural Notes and Technical Notes (Notes). It has now consulted on the revisions to existing Notes and on the new Procedural and Technical Notes, of which it received written feedback from 13 respondents. The Notes are organised by them rather than sequentially by rule eg. eligibility for listing; working capital; and periodic financial information.
Primary Market Bulletin, Issue No. 4 (PMB 4) confirms that these Notes constitute formal FSA guidance and that not all previously published commentary, mainly from old editions of List!, had been reproduced in the Notes for the following main reasons:
- the point was not suitable for formal guidance;
- the FSA was already consulting on incorporating sections of the commentary into the Listing Rules through new rules/guidance;
- the commentary referenced to law or regulation which has subsequently changed; and
- the material or remark was ‘time-bound’.
Similarly the FSA notes that some practitioners and issuers may continue to rely on commentary, previously published in List!, which has been treated by the FSA as ‘withdrawn’, notwithstanding that it does not appear in the UKLA Knowledge Base. All UKLA technical commentary is now in one place and has been given the status of formal guidance and therefore it would seem that previous commentary, not reproduced in the Notes, can no longer be relied upon.
PMB 4 describes some of the changes which have been made to the Notes following the consultation, which mostly reflect updated rules and policy. However, of note, the proposed Notes on ‘Block Listings’ and ‘Prospectus disclosures on credit rating agencies’ have been removed. In the case of the Block Listings Note, the FSA wishes to consider this in more detail due to comments received, and the Note on credit rating agencies is currently subject to on-going discussions at an ESMA level.
For additional guidance, market participants should follow the new written procedure for communicating with the UKLA save for urgent ‘live market’ situations where they can use the emergency line. Sponsors can also use the new Sponsor Service Enquiries facility. Contact numbers are available on the FSA website.