Plan to put pension funds in UK firms to boost economy
Jeremy Hunt trumpeted a deal with major pension firms to put five per cent of investments – or up to £50 billion by 2030 – into high-growth businesses
CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt on Monday (10) unveiled plans to channel more of the nation’s pension fund cash into UK companies and boost the inflation-battered economy.
Hunt trumpeted a deal with major pension firms to put five per cent of investments – or up to £50 billion by 2030 – into high-growth businesses, in turn boosting economic activity and tax revenues that fund public services.
The Conservatives are trailing Labour before an election due next year and prime minister Rishi Sunak has vowed to slash inflation to ease a costof-living crisis.
The UK economy has been slammed by rising interest rates and stubbornly high inflation, which has eased in recent months but remains close to nine percent. “I want to… enable our financial services sector to increase returns for pensioners, improve outcomes for investors and unlock capital for our growth businesses,” Hunt told an audience of finance leaders at Mansion House in London’s financial district.
Hunt added that the UK’s pension market was the largest in Europe and worth more than £2.5 trillion.
And he wants to make Britain “the most innovative and competitive” financial centre in the world.
The new measures will, in particular, seek to make the UK stock market more attractive than elsewhere to firms looking to take their businesses public.
The number of companies conducting IPOs in London last year plunged to around 40 listings compared to more than 100 in 2021.
Hunt also laid out plans for an “entirely new kind of stock market” allowing private companies to access capital markets before they float. And he will look to “simplify our financial services rulebook” to ensure “growth-friendly regulation” without compromising the government’s commitment to stability.
“British growth driven by British financial firepower, providing higher living standards and better-funded public services,” concluded Hunt in Monday’s speech. “With cooperation between government, regulators and business closer than ever… we will deliver not just more competitive financial services but a more innovative economy.”
Britain had last year announced measures to stimulate growth in the financial sector, in particular relaxing certain curbs that were introduced after the 2008 global financial crisis.
However, despite post-Brexit reforms, London lost its crown as the top European trading hub.