EU ambassadors of member states agreed om the mandate of European Council for negotiations with the European Parliament on proposed amendments to the Benchmark Regulation (2016/1011). In July, EC had proposed to amend EU rules on financial benchmarks against the background of the transition to new reference rates on major capital markets, particularly in the backdrop of an expected phasing out of LIBOR by the end of 2021. European Council takes the view that the current rules that allow supervised entities in EU to make use of third-country benchmarks should continue to apply until the end of 2025 and not 2021, thus allowing smooth transition to a list of exempted benchmarks to be drawn up by EC.
In its negotiating mandate, European Council takes the view that the powers of EC should apply to a broader range of contracts and financial instruments that reference a benchmark than is proposed by EC. The expanded scope includes both financial contracts and instruments that are subject to the law of an EU member state and certain third-country law contracts. European Council also provides for the possible statutory replacement of benchmarks that do have a fallback provision for the cessation of a benchmark, but where the application of that clause would challenge financial stability and disrupt the market in a member state. On the basis of this negotiating mandate, the presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as the Parliament has adopted its position.
At present, the Benchmark Regulation does not address the possibility of cessation of a critical benchmark. The aim of these amendments is to create a framework that would allow a statutory replacement rate to be in place by the time a systemically important benchmark such as LIBOR is no longer in use. This will reduce legal uncertainty regarding legacy contracts and avoid risks to financial stability. The new rules give EC the power to designate a statutory replacement rate to take the place of all references to a benchmark whose cessation would result in significant disruption to the functioning of financial markets in EU. When designating a statutory replacement rate, EC would have to take into account the recommendations of the dedicated working groups on replacement rates. In addition, the new rules ensure that EU benchmark users can, for the time being, continue to rely on third-country spot exchange rates to hedge the exchange-rate risk.
Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, Securities, Benchmarks Regulation, LIBOR, Financial Benchmarks, Benchmark Reforms, Interest Rate Benchmarks, EC, European Council
Previous ArticleEC Deems UK Framework for CCPs Temporarily Equivalent to EMIR Rules
FSB finalized the toolkit of effective practices to assist financial institutions in their cyber incident response and recovery activities.
HKMA urged authorized institutions to take early action to adhere to the IBOR Fallbacks Protocol, which ISDA is expected to publish soon.
FSB published a global transition roadmap for London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR).
HM Treasury published a document that summarizes the responses received from a consultation on the approach of UK to transposition of the revised Bank Resolution and Recovery Directive (BRRD2).
HM Treasury published the government response to the feedback received on the consultation for updating the prudential regime of UK before the end of the Brexit transition period.
In a recent statistical notice, BoE announced publication of the reporting schedule for statistical returns for 2021.
EC welcomed the joint declaration by 25 EU member states on building the next generation of cloud in Europe.
MAS published amendments to Notice 648 on the issuance of covered bonds by banks incorporated in Singapore.
FDIC has selected 14 technology companies—including Accenture Federal Services, LLC, Fed Reporter, Inc, and S&P Global Market Intelligence, LLC—for inclusion in the next phase of the rapid prototyping competition.
GLEIF announced that financial institutions worldwide can realize a variety of cost, efficiency, and customer experience benefits by assuming a new “validation agent” role within the Global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) System.