The UK’s chief tax authority, HM Revenue & Customs, has given ‘recognised stock exchange’ status to the Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) under the relevant UK Income Tax Act.
This means that securities listed on the GSX are now eligible for inclusion in UK Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), both of which are types of accounts offering shelter from tax such as capital gains tax on assets held within them.
The GSX gained similar recognition from the European Securities Markets Authority in January 2015, and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority in March 2015.
Nick Cowan, managing director of GSX, said the exchange was continuing to build up its offering, in an effort to provide investors with access to a well-regulated base for issuing debt securities and shares in funds.
The GSX opened in November 2014 as an EU regulated market. Because of the Brexit vote, as with the UK itself, there are question marks over Gibraltar’s continued access to the EU single market. Gibraltar is one of 14 so-called British Overseas Territories, which means that it’s affected directly by the UK decision to leave the EU, in a different way than the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey, which have a different constitutional status with respect to the UK.
The GSX issued a statement in July this year suggesting that, for now, there is no changes to the way it approaches business, but it also acknowledged that it may need to institute changes, given the ongoing uncertainty over the future of services and products currently passported into the rest of the EU.
“Access to the single market (via the UK) is very important for Gibraltar, and for financial services in particular, which are a key pillar of our economy,” the GSX said in a statement at that time.
“If Gibraltar wishes to continue to enjoy access to the single market, it will likely need to demonstrate equivalence to the EU regulatory environment. This implies the status quo at the very least. EU legislation forms much of the legal basis upon which Gibraltar (and the City of London) operates and is unlikely to be repealed wholesale.”
‘Likely to continue driving reform’
“Furthermore, the UK is signed up to G20 standards, the Financial Stability Board, and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, and is likely to continue driving reform through these bodies now a leave vote is confirmed.”
“Business will go on for GSX for the foreseeable future with little change. Our compliance with directives will remain unchanged and we can still provide EU gateway services until we reach clarity on the UK’s ability to passport financial services 2 years after Article 50 is triggered.”
“Recent developments also present GSX with a unique opportunity. Over the medium term we will continue in our efforts to establish our exchange as the gateway for EU and global issuers into the UK Capital Markets.”