Short-selling is not to blame for recent financial market turmoil, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.
In a statement on the markets, the FCA said that while the financial markets have experienced significant volatility over the past couple of weeks, they have continued to function in an orderly manner.
Several European authorities have introduced short-selling bans, and the FCA has reciprocated those bans on cross-listed stocks.
But the FCA noted that it hasn’t adopted its own ban, nor have regulators in many other major markets, including the U.S.
“Aggregate net short selling activity reported to FCA is low as a percentage of total market activity and has decreased in recent days. It will continue to fluctuate, but there is no evidence that short selling has been the driver of recent market falls,” the regulator said.
Additionally, the FCA noted that the ability to take both long and short positions is necessary for many investment strategies and risk management strategies, and that “short selling is a critical underpinning of liquidity provision.”
“The loss of these benefits would need to be carefully balanced before determining that any intervention to prevent short selling was appropriate,” the FCA said.
In the meantime, the regulator said that it’s working with its international counterparts “so that markets can remain open and orderly, and so they can continue to perform their essential role in supporting businesses, governments, jobs and the broader economy.”