What did the Autumn Statement mean for IR?

Which measures announced in Wednesday's Autumn statement will be of most interest for Investor Relations?

Wednesday's Autumn statement included some measures that will be of interest, mainly at the smaller/growth end of the market, as follows:

  • the government accepted the recommendations from the Harrington Review of foreign direct investment into the UK, aimed at boosting overseas investor confidence in UK equities,
  • committing £250 million to 2 successful bidders in the Long-term Investment for Technology and Science (LIFTS) initiative, which will provide new investment vehicles tailored to the needs of pension funds, aimed at generating over a billion pounds of investment from pension funds into UK science and technology companies,
  • establishing a Growth Fund within the British Business Bank (BBB) to draw upon the BBB’s expertise and a permanent capital base of over £7 billion, to give pension funds access to investment opportunities in the UK’s most promising businesses, and
  • re-confirming the government’s commitment to implementing Rachel Kent’s Investment Research recommendations, with formal consultations in 2024. These include establishing a Research Platform to help generate investment research, allowing greater access to investment research for retail investors.

The government also welcomed the Capital Markets Industry Taskforce (CMIT) work to reset culture through an “investor covenant”, following the recent CMIT open letter suggesting an updated ‘issuer and investor covenant’: “The covenant should emphasise collaboration and the presumption of trust between investors and the issuer boards they have appointed, through the application of the governance and stewardship regimes". This could be supported by a new ‘investor and issuer forum’ "to facilitate more effective ongoing engagement between boards and their shareholders".

In the latest move for Corporate Governance Reform, the Autumn Statement refers to the recent government letter to the FRC updating its remit, emphasising the role the FRC should play in promoting growth and competitiveness.

Read more: Autumn Statement 2023

Published 24 November, 2023

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