BoE released a statement on behalf of the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates. The statement provides an update on progress in the adoption of SONIA in sterling markets, including work underway to develop a term benchmark based on that risk-free rate. The statement highlights that, in the derivative markets, the share of swaps traded using SONIA is already broadly equivalent to that linked to LIBOR.
It is now just over a year since the BoE implemented reforms to the SONIA interest rate benchmark, improving the sustainability and representativeness of the chosen alternative risk-free reference rate in UK. Following that change, sterling-denominated financial markets have begun to shift decisively away from LIBOR and toward SONIA. In the derivative markets, the share of swaps traded using SONIA is already broadly equivalent to that linked to LIBOR. Liquidity and open interest in SONIA futures is also growing steadily. SONIA is also being adopted in cash markets. SONIA-linked Floating Rate Notes (FRNs) have rapidly become the market norm and LIBOR-linked sterling FRN issuance beyond 2021 has all but ceased. Recent weeks also saw the issuance of the first distributed SONIA-linked Residential Mortgage-Backed Security (RMBS). Looking ahead, the next goal is to reduce reliance on LIBOR in other sterling cash markets, including loans.
Given the rapid development of liquidity in markets referencing overnight SONIA, the Working Group anticipates that corporate borrowers will increasingly prefer contracts that reference compounded overnight SONIA. For those already able and willing to do so, the Working Group encourages providers and users of such products to press ahead with their transition efforts, thus reducing the risk of disorderly adjustment closer to end-2021 and helping to develop liquidity in SONIA-referencing markets even further. The Working Group also supports the work underway to develop a term benchmark based on the sterling risk-free rate, known as a Term SONIA Reference Rate (TSRR).
In December 2018, the Working Group had published a statement inviting interested benchmark administrators to consider the summary of responses to the TSRR consultation and to share any views on the development of such benchmarks. Three administrators (FTSE Russell, ICE Benchmark Administration, and Refinitiv) have confirmed that they are working on the development of a TSRR, with each delivering a short factual presentation to the Working Group at a meeting on May 14, 2019. Over the remainder of 2019, the Working Group expects that administrators will work to establish if a robust TSSR, compliant with international standards, can be produced on a timetable consistent with the broader transition work. The Working Group welcomes these developments and has established a new Task Force to ensure that this work remains on track.
BIS Innovation Hub published the work program for 2021, with focus on suptech and regtech, next-generation financial market infrastructure, central bank digital currencies, open finance, green finance, and cyber security.
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EBA finalized the two sets of draft regulatory technical standards on the identification of material risk-takers and on the classes of instruments used for remuneration under the Investment Firms Directive (IFD).
EC published, in the Official Journal of the European Union, a notification that the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has published a special report on resolution planning in the Single Resolution Mechanism.
BoE published a scenario against which it will be stress testing banks in 2021, in addition to setting out the key elements of the 2021 stress test, guidance on the 2021 stress test, and the variable paths for the 2021 stress test.
PRA published a consultation paper (CP3/21) proposes rules regarding the timing of identity verification required for eligibility of depositor protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
FSB published the work program for 2021, which reflects a strategic shift in priorities in the COVID-19 environment.
FCA announced that 50% firms have started using the new data collection platform RegData, which is slated to replace the existing platform known Gabriel.
Bundesbank published Version 5.0 of the derivation rules for completeness check at the form level, with respect to the data quality of the European harmonized reporting system.
FED finalized a rule that updates capital planning requirements to reflect the new framework from 2019 that sorts large banks into categories, with requirements that are tailored to the risks of each category.