One of the main objectives in structuring Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) is accessing large capital markets. Many ETFs consider a listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as the best means of accessing liquidity and increasing their profile. However an LSE listing involves significant time and financial considerations.

There is an alternative way to access the market of the LSE, which reduces costs and time significantly, by having securities "admitted to trading" rather than "listed" on the LSE. Securities which have been admitted to trading by the LSE may be traded on the main SETS market trading platform, meaning that it is possible to access the LSE market without an LSE listing. This eliminates the requirement to appoint UK listing advisors, reduces the approval timescale and involves significant cost efficiencies.

A security that is listed on an exchange has been vetted by the relevant exchange and is compliant with the suitability standards and conditions for listing laid down by that exchange. A security that is admitted to trading has been approved by a competent authority in another EU jurisdiction and must be recognised by the "host" exchange, with the relevant securities being allowed to trade on the host exchange.

In order to have an ETF admitted to trading on the Main Market of the LSE the fund must be approved for listing on the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE). An ISE listing is a straightforward process for any Irish regulated fund, which can be undertaken by Dillon Eustace during the regulatory approval process, with no timing implications. The cost of an ISE listing is minimal.

Admission to Trading on the LSE

The approval process with the LSE is straightforward, involving the filing of the following with the LSE:

  • Admission forms
  • Certificate of UCITS compliance from the Irish Central Bank
  • Evidence of FSC recognition status
  • Prospectus
  • Listing Particulars stamped by the ISE

The admission is contingent on the ETF obtaining recognition from the FSC in the UK for admission and marketing into the UK, which process is greatly streamlined by UCITS IV. It is the responsibility of the Irish Central Bank, as regulator, to notify the FSC and this process takes approximately 10 business days.


The ISE approval listing is obtained within the regulatory approval timeframe.

Following approval of the listing document, the admission documentation is filed with the LSE 11 business days prior to the proposed admission date.

For most funds the ISE listing and LSE admission can be finalised within the initial offer period.

Trading and Use of Market Makers

An ETF listed on the ISE and admitted to trading on the LSE may trade on both exchanges. The market for ETFs is an order driven environment facilitated through a market maker(s) appointed by the ETF. Trades are settled through CREST.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.