Benchmark administrators and supervised contributors are supervised by the Benchmark Supervision team, a specialist team within FCA’s Wholesale Supervision Division.
Approach to Supervision
The FCA’s Approach to Supervision was published on March 2019 following a consultation.
Information for benchmark administrators
The Benchmark Regulation (BMR) introduced a new regime for benchmark administrators which ensures the accuracy and integrity of benchmarks.
Extension of the Senior Managers Regime to Benchmark Administrators
On 2 June 2020 we published our response to the feedback to our consultation paper CP19/31 Extending the Senior Managers Regime to Benchmark Administrators. This also sets out the final rules and guidance we are publishing following the consultation. The Senior Managers Regime (SMR) and Conduct Rules will come into force for benchmark administrators that do not undertake any other regulated activities on 7 December 2020.
If you have any queries on how the Seniors Managers Regime will impact you as a Benchmark Administrator, please contact [email protected]
Sustainability-related disclosure requirements
The European Supervisory and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a No Action Letter on sustainability-related disclosures for benchmarks. In it, ESMA sets out its opinion on the appropriate supervisory and enforcement practices for new disclosure requirements under the EU Benchmarks Regulation (BMR). It addresses the challenges firms are facing in meeting the new disclosure requirements under Articles 13(1)(d) and 27(2a) of the BMR in absence of the supporting delegated acts. The requirements have applied from 30 April 2020 but the supporting delegated acts are still to be finalised.
The new disclosure requirements aim to increase the comparability of benchmarks with regard to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors to help users of benchmarks make well-informed choices. The delegated acts support these objectives by setting out the minimum content as well as standard formats to present this information. Until the delegated acts are finalised, ESMA considers there is legal uncertainty for benchmark administrators as they cannot adequately determine the required content of this disclosure.
The ESMA No Action Letter is clear that neither ESMA nor competent authorities possess any power to allow the disapplication of EU law. However, ESMA considers it is necessary for competent authorities to address the absence of the delegated acts through consistent risk-based supervisory and enforcement practices. ESMA is therefore of the opinion that, until the delegated acts apply, competent authorities should not prioritise any supervisory or enforcement action in relation to these requirements.
The FCA does not have the power to dis-apply EU law, but we confirm that we propose to follow the approach set out by ESMA in its No Action Letter.
We also remind firms of existing transparency requirements under the BMR. Where ESG factors are a key element of a benchmark's methodology, you should consider whether existing disclosure material should contain information about them, as appropriate.
The BMR does not require an authorised administrator to notify us of new benchmarks or families. However, if you wish to do so you may update the benchmark schedule you used during the authorisation/registration process and send it to us via email.
You must notify us if you wish to apply any exemptions in relation to your new benchmarks in accordance with Articles 25(1) and 26(1) BMR.
Articles 26(2) and 24(3) BMR require administrators to notify the FCA in the event their benchmarks change categories, i.e. they move from significant to non-significant and vice versa.
In addition, we would be grateful if you could inform us:
- If the estimated usage of a significant benchmark you administer is close to or reaches the critical benchmark thresholds set out in Article 20(1).
- If you intend to or begin to administer a significant benchmark.
- If you intend to or begin to administer a benchmark with contributors.
For any notification in respect of exemptions, changes or updates to existing benchmark categorisations or types you should notify us via our dedicated email address.
We have a dedicated Customer Contact Centre to help you with general queries, including general regulatory questions. To get in touch visit: https://www.fca.org.uk/contact.
For regulatory enquiries specifically related to benchmarks, you may wish to contact the FCA Benchmark Supervision team via email at [email protected].