Advertisement
UK markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    8,252.91
    +29.57 (+0.36%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    21,202.89
    +13.98 (+0.07%)
     
  • AIM

    786.17
    +4.64 (+0.59%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1903
    +0.0024 (+0.21%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2989
    +0.0074 (+0.58%)
     
  • Bitcoin GBP

    45,774.81
    +1,188.98 (+2.67%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,240.47
    +41.90 (+3.49%)
     
  • S&P 500

    5,615.35
    +30.81 (+0.55%)
     
  • DOW

    40,000.90
    +247.15 (+0.62%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    82.18
    -0.44 (-0.53%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    2,416.00
    -5.90 (-0.24%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    41,190.68
    -1,033.34 (-2.45%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    18,293.38
    +461.05 (+2.59%)
     
  • DAX

    18,748.18
    +213.62 (+1.15%)
     
  • CAC 40

    7,724.32
    +97.19 (+1.27%)
     

Labour to ensure pension funds invest more in UK firms if it wins power

Britain's Starmer expected to launch Labour party manifesto

By Huw Jones and Carolyn Cohn

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain's Labour Party, tipped in the polls to win a general election on July 4, said on Thursday that if it won power it would ensure that pension funds invested more in UK companies.

Cash-strapped Britain has little choice but to rely on private funds to pay for renewing infrastructure and cutting carbon emissions.

The party has long sought to reassure the City there would be a continuation of the post-Brexit financial reforms set out by the current Conservative government to boost the sector's global competitiveness.

"Financial services are one of Britain's greatest success stories," said Labour's election manifesto, published on Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Labour would support innovation and growth in the sector, through.. ensuring a pro-innovation regulatory framework," it added.

A Labour government would set up a National Wealth Fund capitalised with 7.3 billion pounds ($9.32 billion) over the course of the next parliament by targeting three pounds of private investment to every one pound of public investment.

Nicholas Lyons, chair of insurer Phoenix, told Reuters in a recent interview that the national wealth fund idea was positive, showing that Labour was "interested in doing something very long term".

The current government backed the "Mansion House Compact", spearheaded by Lyons when he was Mayor of the City of London, whereby pension providers such as Aviva, Legal & General and Phoenix voluntarily commit to investing 5% of their assets in British growth companies by 2030, as London faces competition from New York and EU financial centres for listings.

Labour stopped short of saying it would mandate pension fund investments.

"We will adopt reforms to ensure that workplace pension schemes take advantage of consolidation and scale, to deliver better returns for UK savers and greater productive investment for UK PLC," it said.

"We will also undertake a review of the pensions landscape to consider what further steps are needed to improve pension outcomes and increase investment in UK markets."

Consultancy Broadstone said the manifesto contained no notable big-ticket ideas for pensions, and confirmed plans to progress with the existing productive finance agenda.

Morten Nilsson, chief executive of pensions specialists Brightwell, said that if Labour won the election it should partner with the pensions industry in developing its national wealth fund.

Labour also said it would close a loophole whereby performance-related pay in the private equity sector was taxed more leniently as capital gains rather than income.

($1 = 0.7830 pounds)

(Editing by Bernadette Baum and Alex Richardson)