March 25, 2019

EC published the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/482, which amends the Regulation (EU) 2016/1368 that establishes a list of critical benchmarks used in financial markets pursuant to Benchmarks Regulation, or BMR (EU 2016/1011). The key change involves the addition of Warsaw Interbank Offered Rate (WIBOR) to the list of critical benchmarks pursuant to BMR. Regulation (EU) 2019/482 shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

On October 10, 2018, the Polish competent authority, Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego (KNF), notified ESMA of its proposal to recognize the Warsaw Interbank Offered Rate (WIBOR) as a critical benchmark, under point (b) of Article 20(1) of BMR, because it is critical in Poland and it is based on submissions of contributors, all of which are located in Poland. WIBOR is a reference rate based on an average of the interest rates at which banks operating in the Polish money market are willing to lend unsecured funds to each other at different maturities. As of October 10, 2018, eleven banks participate in the WIBOR panel, all of which are located in Poland.

In its assessment submitted to ESMA, the KNF concluded that the cessation of WIBOR, or its provision on the basis of input data or of a panel of contributors that are no longer representative of the underlying market or economic reality, could have a significant adverse impact on the functioning of financial markets in Poland. On November 08, 2018, ESMA sent EC its opinion setting out that KNF had taken into consideration all the elements and criteria included in Article 20(3) of BMR and that it had provided quantitative data to support the case for the recognition of WIBOR as a critical benchmark, as well as analytical reasoning highlighting the crucial role of WIBOR in the Polish economy. Therefore, the Regulation (EU) 2016/1368 has been amended accordingly. The Annex to Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1368 has been replaced by the text in the Annex to Regulation (EU) 2019/482.


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Effective Date: March 26, 2019

Keywords: Europe, EU, Poland, Banking, Securities, WIBOR, Regulation 2019/482, Regulation 2016/1368, Benchmarks Regulation, Critical Benchmarks, Interest Rate Benchmarks, ESMA, EC