A majority of investors, banks, brokers and market makers would prefer the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to alter its trading hours to 9am-4pm in an effort to improve diversity and wellbeing, according to a consultation conducted by the bourse.
Another "recent survey" was cited by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe and the Investment Association (IA), which found that shorter trading hours was second only to flexible working policies to improve gender diversity in the industry.
Respondents felt that longer trading hours offered no benefit to liquidity, but that shorter hours would be unlikely to increase trading volumes, while the vast majority believed that any change could only be effectively realised if there was harmonisation across European exchanges.
Others questioned how much impact a change in trading hours would have for diversity and wellbeing, instead suggesting the institutions themselves "could do more" in promoting these goals.
A small number questioned whether a change in trading hours would be "detrimental" to London's position as a global financial centre, pointing to shorter trading hours in the US and Asia not necessarily translating to shorter working hours than Europe.
A recent study from Hardman & Co and Argus Vickers found that 49% of all stocks listed on the LSE are held by non-UK investors, a proportion which rises to 69% for FTSE 100 securities, adding to the concern of some investors that shorter trading hours may impact the global nature of the bourse.
Regarding retail investors, the industry provided a large spread of opinion, with some consensus regarding a later opening time "to allow for better digestion of results and overnight news" but "mixed feelings" about an earlier close.
LSE has stated it will await the public findings of other European exchanges, as these will be an "important factor" in considering any changes to trading hours, particularly given the survey's preference for harmonisation.
Galina Dimitrova, director for investment and capital markets at the IA, said: "Shortening trading hours has the potential to improve wellbeing and diversity on our trading floors and ultimately to deliver better outcomes for our clients.
"The fact that the majority of respondents to the LSE's consultation on market trading hours agree, adds further weight to the argument that it is time to reduce trading hours.
"We will look forward to the responses of other European exchanges and trading venue which are currently consulting on the issue to ensure harmonisation across Europe."