Shearman & Sterling LLP | Financial Regulatory Developments Focus | Financial Stability Board Seeks More Action on Reforming Benchmarks
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  • Financial Stability Board Seeks More Action on Reforming Benchmarks
    10/10/2017
    The Financial Stability Board has published a progress report on reforms to existing interest rate benchmarks and on the construction and implementation of alternative near risk-free interest rates (RFRs). This follows the FSB's recommendations for reforms in this area, published in July 2014. The report examines the progress made towards achieving those recommendations. The FSB's recommendations in the July 2014 report called for a strengthening of existing interest rate benchmarks, such as LIBOR, EURIBOR and TIBOR, collectively coined "IBORs," and other reference rates based on unsecured bank funding costs by underpinning them to the greatest extent possible with transaction data. In addition, the FSB proposed steps to develop alternative near risk-free interest rate benchmarks.

    On the progress to fortify the IBORs the FSB notes that challenges remain. In particular, the FSB is concerned that the underlying reference transactions are limited for some maturities and that as a result some submissions remain based on various factors, including transactions and judgement of the submitters.

    The FSB's view is that good progress has been made with the second strand of the recommendations relating to the identification of RFRs. Alternative RFRs have been identified or selected in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States and headway has been made in reforming EONIA in the Euro area. The FSB encourages other member jurisdictions, such as Mexico and South Africa, to accelerate their intended measures. Furthermore, the FSB notes that limited advancement has been made towards transitioning the existing benchmarks to the RFRs and that impetus should be maintained to achieve the FSB recommendations.

    The FSB will publish a further progress report in 2018.

    View the progress report.