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Get Shorty? - Market Impact of the 2008-09 U.K. Short Selling Ban


  • Hansson, Fredrik

    () (Centre for Finance and)

  • Rüdow Fors, Erik

    () (Centre for Finance and)


In September 2008, during one of the most intense periods of the financial crisis, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) decided to ban short-selling in financial stocks during four months in the U.K. market. The aim of the ban was to guard against instability and calm the market. This paper examines the effect of the ban on the banned stocks in terms of returns and market quality measured by abnormal returns, volatility, bid-ask spreads and volumes using intraday data. Event study methods and panel regressions are used to isolate the effects of the ban as specifically as possible. We do not find evidence of any effects of the ban on abnormal returns and volatilities, largely due to the extreme levels of noise during the financial crisis. However, we do find strong evidence that the bid-ask spreads in the affected stocks widened during the ban and that the trading activity in the banned stocks decreased.

Suggested Citation

  • Hansson, Fredrik & Rüdow Fors, Erik, 2009. "Get Shorty? - Market Impact of the 2008-09 U.K. Short Selling Ban," Working Papers in Economics 365, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0365

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    More about this item


    short selling; market quality; FSA; regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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