Government plans to protect LSE, says minister


New owners of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) will be limited to making minimal changes to the rules under proposed government legislation.

Speaking to business executives in Hong Kong the UK Treasury minister Ed Balls said the government was impartial regarding the nationality of the LSE's ownership but insisted the exchange would still be subjected to limited regulation.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA), the UK's main financial watchdog, will be given the power to override any new ruling which hinders the LSE's liberty.

Mr Balls said the new legislation would further the FSA's influence and protect the LSE.

"It will outlaw the imposition of any rules that might endanger the light touch, risk-based regulatory regime that underpins London's success," he said.

The LSE has been a much sought after takeover target for a host of potential bidders, with exchanges including Deutsche Bourse and Euronext among those linked to a bid.

The LSE remains one the world's fastest growing markets and is the current leader for equity exchange after a 50 per cent increase in the trade of SETS was reported over the first eight months of this year.

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