In September 2008, the United Kingdom (“UK”) Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) introduced provisions to the Code of Market Conduct prohibiting short selling in UK financial sector stocks and imposing daily disclosure requirements with respect to short positions in such stocks (the “Short Sale Provisions”). See “FSA Bans Short Selling in Financial Stocks and Requires Daily Short Position Disclosures” (SRZ Alert, 19 Sept. 2008). At that time, it committed to review the new measures after 30 days. On 22 October 2008, the FSA published its conclusions that no changes to the regime were required other than to no longer require daily disclosure of a short position. Once a disclosure had been made, additional disclosures would only be made when the short position changed.
On 29 October 2008, the FSA published its amendments to the Code of Market Conduct. A revised version of the FSA’s Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) briefly appeared on the FSA’s website on 31 October 2008, but were subsequently withdrawn. A new version is expected to appear shortly.
The FSA’s position now is that disclosure must be made through a Regulatory Information Service (“RIS”) by no later than 3.30pm (London time) on the business day following the first day on which the disclosable short position is held after 30 October 2008 and on each day on which the disclosable short position changes. Disclosures are no longer required if there is no change in the short position since the previous disclosure.
Under the revised rule, it would appear that pre-existing (and previously disclosed) positions held on 31 October 2008 must still be disclosed on Monday 3 November 2008, but thereafter no further disclosure will be required until there is a change. Disclosable short positions first established on or after 31 October must be disclosed following establishment and thereafter only when there is a change.
The 29 October 2008 amendment to the Short Sale Provisions can be found on the FSA’s website at http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/handbook/2008_60_instrument.pdf.