Financial Markets

(asked on 1st February 2021) - View Source

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) benefits to institutional finance firms, and (2) costs to retail traders, of the decision by some retail stock brokerages to prevent traders from taking long positions on specific stocks on 28 January.


Answered by
 Portrait
Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
This question was answered on 15th February 2021

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the UK’s financial markets conduct regulator and is responsible for protecting consumers, ensuring market integrity and promoting effective competition. As set out in the FCA’s statement of 29 January, broking firms are not obliged to offer trading facilities to clients and may withdraw or suspend services if it is necessary or prudent to do so. The FCA’s statement also said that they would take appropriate action wherever they see evidence of UK firms or individuals causing harm to UK consumers or markets.

The Government recognises that the pace and creativity of innovation in UK financial services creates new opportunities for businesses and consumers to participate in markets through technologies such as app-based platforms. However, investors should be aware that investing in securities comes with risks. The FCA’s statement of 29 January warned consumers that any losses that result from such investments are unlikely to be covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

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