In December 2008, the FSA published a policy statement entitled "Sponsor regime: A targeted review". As well as setting out changes to Chapter 8 of the Listing Rules (Sponsors), the paper summarises feedback received by the FSA in relation to the consultation on the sponsor regime which was launched in March 2008.
The following is a brief overview of some of the key changes to be implemented to the sponsor regime contained in Chapter 8 of the Listing Rules:
- Sponsor principles – the new rules will clarify when the sponsor principles contained in LR 8.3 will apply.
- Sponsor competence – the use of the suitably experience employee (SEE) regime as a way of assessing sponsor competence will be replaced with less prescriptive guidance focussing on a firm's prior relevant experience in providing sponsor services and other necessary skills, knowledge and expertise.
- Sponsor systems and controls – with the removal of the SEE regime, the new rules place greater emphasis on sponsor systems and controls, including requirements that firms ensure appropriate staffing when conducting sponsor services and that staff receive appropriate guidance and training.
- Sponsor independence and conflicts management – in line with the FSA's drive towards more principle-based regulation, the current detailed threshold requirements on sponsor independence will be replaced with new requirements for sponsors to identify and manage conflicts (the new rules expressly recognise that not all conflicts can be managed).
The new rules will come into effect on 6 February 2009.
View Policy Statement 08/12 (64 page pdf) (includes the detailed changes to LR 8).