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The Times , 23 August 2021, Ludicrous rules prevent TV educating viewers about stock markets, says Lord Lee

ShareSoc Patron Lord Lee is quoted in the The Times, 23 August 2021, in an article about the ludicrous rules that prevent TV from educating viewers about stock markets.

Lord Lee is urging the government to look at financial and broadcasting regulations that effectively restrict mainstream television from producing valuable educational and informative programmes about investment.

Lord Lee has tabled a parliamentary question.

 “To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will meet (1) representatives of the major television channels, (2) the Financial Conduct Authority, and (3) Ofcom, to encourage the development of programmes that promote investment in shares of companies quoted in the UK.”

Lord Lee decries the total failure by television to focus any programmes on Stock Market investment etc., “primarily, I believe, because of the inhibiting restrictions emanating from FCA/Ofcom”.

How can it make sense to allow betting and gaming advertisements, while preventing stock market coverage?  Of course, there have to be controls; presenters must not personally benefit etc., but the current situation is thoroughly unsatisfactory.  It is no wonder UK equities are undervalued and prey to foreign and private equity bids when their merits are concealed from so many!

Lord Lee, a champion of small investors, said the lack of mainstream television coverage of stock market investing was a serious issue especially because of the number of inexperienced and young people now playing the market. He described the apparent regulatory lockout of the investment industry from television as ludicrous.

Television executives cite the labyrinthine rule books of the FCA and its Market Abuse Regulations and Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, which cites the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. “We are constrained by the strict regulation in this area,” one said. “We have to stop short of promoting, recommending or appearing to recommend particular shares and investments.”

ShareSoc is strongly supportive of Lord Lee’s initiative and has issued a Press Release.

We think the FCA needs to work towards creating a rule book that sensibly covers betting, gambling, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, options, CFDs, and unregulated investments, as well as the mainstream investments of funds, shares and bonds.

If you agree that mainstream TV gives far too little coverage to the savings industry, then you might like to write to your MP to highlight this concern. I shall also be writing to the FCA, FRC and BEIS on this matter.

Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc

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