Today I attended a hearing in parliament of the Treasury Select Committee and the Financial Conduct Authority. Various issues were raised with the authority but my particular interest was the fact that the FCA had changed the listing rules for the London Stock Exchange to make it possible to host the IPO of Saudi Aramco, a share sale worth an estimated $100bn, the world’s largest, ever. This has already caused some controversy but I believe it is simply and directly linked to HSBC business and UK sales of arms to Saudi Arabia.
HSBC is one of the banks advising Saudi Aramco, Theresa May visited Saudi Arabia in April, together with the CEO of the London Stock Exchange, following which HSBC’s appointment as advisors was announced. She also managed to secure further arms sales for BAE Systems. It is inconceivable that in reaching the decision to change the listing rules that the FCA did not consult with Aramco’s advisors, HSBC. When the subject came up for discussion I pulled up a chair alongside Andrew Bailey, and said that I thought we should discuss the corruption….
Of course the public is not allowed to know all this. My intervention has been censored from the official recording, below. This is followed by an audio recording of what I actually said.