Big Bang

Ranald C. Michie

in The London Stock Exchange

Published in print April 2001 | ISBN: 9780199242559
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596643 | DOI:
 Big Bang

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This chapter discusses the lead up to the ‘Big Bang’ and its effects––the Big Bang refers to the abolition of fixed commissions and the single capacity on 27 October 1986, both of which had been at the centre of London Stock Exchange thinking for most of the twentieth century, and certainly since 1945. This move followed the abolition of exchange controls in 1979, and the associated far‐reaching changes on the securities market. The path from one to the other is traced, including the loss of the Stock Exchange's monopoly position within the securities market in January 1986. The new ways and roles that the Stock Exchange was forced to adopt during the early 1980s are described, including its merger with ISRO (International Securities Regulatory Organisation), its failure to merge with LIFFE (London International Financials Futures Exchange), expansion of securities traded on SEAQ (Stock Exchange Automated Quotations) international, and its opening of membership to global players. The last section of the chapter discusses further changes to the Stock Exchange that occurred to reflect the completely changed nature of its membership, including alterations in the degree of control and supervision exercised, and the ending of the Compensation Fund.

Keywords: Big Bang; Britain; Compensation Fund; competitiveness; control; economic history; exchange controls; fixed commissions; foreign business; history; international business; International Securities Regulatory Organisation; ISRO; LIFFE; London International Financials Futures Exchange; London Stock Exchange; membership; mergers; monopoly; SEAQ; SEAQ international; securities market; single capacity; Stock Exchange Automated Quotations; supervision

Chapter.  26518 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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