Axe stamp duty on British shares, says Flutter boss as the gambling giant heads for the US

Flutter’s boss – who is moving the company’s main stock market listing to New York – said axing stamp duty on share trading would make London more competitive.

Peter Jackson, chief executive of the gambling company behind Paddy Power and Betfair, said more could be done to bolster the stock market and stop firms fleeing over the Atlantic.

Flutter is ditching its primary listing in London this month and after investors backed its plan to move its main share trading hub to New York.

The move on May 31 will see it leave the FTSE 100. When asked could be done to reignite enthusiasm in the London stock market, Jackson said: ‘How much time do you have?’

He explained that cutting stamp duty on share trading would be a game-changer and make the UK more appealing.

Flutter chief exec Peter Jackson (pictured) said more could be done to bolster the stock market and stop firms fleeing over the Atlantic.

Critics argue it is deterring investment in London-listed companies. Jackson said abolishing stamp duty on share trading would have big impact on the volume of shares traded. 

He said: ‘We’ve seen a considerable uplift in the number of our shares that are traded daily as a result of our secondary listing in New York, and we expect that to step up when we get our primary listing shift at end of month.

‘And the more shares that are traded, if you’re an investor looking to take a position in a company, you’re more confident to take a bigger position as you know you can get in and out without disturbing the share price.’

Investors pay 0.5 per cent in stamp duty on the price of UK-listed shares they buy – but the tax does not apply to the purchase of shares in foreign companies. 

It means a saver who buys £10,000 of shares in FTSE 100 giants such as Rolls-Royce or Marks & Spencer pays £50 in tax but they pay nothing at all to make the same investment in New York-listed Tesla or Amazon.

This has meant a growing number of firms are looking towards the US.

Stephen Bird, chief executive of asset manager Abrdn, recently branded the tax ‘as unpatriotic as it is economically destructive’ and argued ‘its removal could be the single biggest boost to UK share ownership’. 

Flutter shares fell 2 per cent yesterday.