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London erects wall against Sarbanes-Oxley

Sept. 13, 2006 at 9:19 AM

LONDON, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- British authorities are moving to ensure that Washington's Sarbanes-Oxley rules never apply to the London Stock Exchange.

LSE leaders want to make sure than if any foreign buyers take control of their exchange it will not be subject Sarbanes-Oxley rules, which they view as draconian, the Telegraph reported Wednesday.

Those concerns have risen as New York's Nasdaq Stock Exchange Inc. has gained a nearly 30-percent stake in the LSE.

In response, Britain's government is introducing legislation to protect its "light touch" approach to the regulation of stock exchanges.

Proposed legislation would give the Financial Services Authority final say in any bid for the London Stock Exchange by giving it control of the key matter of regulation.

"This legislation will confer a new and specific power on the FSA to veto rule changes proposed by the exchanges that would be disproportionate in their impact," said Treasury Minister Ed Balls. "It will outlaw the imposition of any rules that might endanger the light touch, risk-based regulatory regime that underpins London's success."

London's action comes as U.S. business and financial leaders seek ways to ameliorate the most extreme aspects of Sarbanes-Oxley.

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Topics: Ed Balls
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