Benchmarks Regulation: our proposed new powers, policy and decision-making

We are setting out our thinking on the considerations we will take into account when exercising our powers, as proposed under the Financial Services (FS) Bill, to ‘designate’ a critical benchmark and to impose changes to that benchmark. This will inform how we use our new powers to help manage an orderly wind-down of critical benchmarks, such as LIBOR. We’re asking for your thoughts.

Why we are engaging on this issue

Benchmarks are used in a wide range of markets to help set prices, measure performance, or work out amounts payable under financial contracts. They are integral to the functioning of the financial markets.

Under the proposed amendments to the Benchmarks Regulation in the FS Bill, we will have new powers. The FS Bill requires us to publish Statements of Policy before exercising certain powers and we must have regard to them when exercising these powers. We said in June that we would engage with the market when developing these Statements of Policy.

So we are now asking for your views on our thinking in two documents:

  • Designating an unrepresentative benchmark using new powers under proposed Article 23A.
  • Requiring changes to a critical benchmark, including its methodology, using new powers under proposed Article 23D.

Who these documents apply to

We expect this work to be of interest to:

  • administrators of critical benchmarks 
  • contributors to critical benchmarks 
  • all users of critical benchmarks, both regulated and unregulated

Let us know what you think

To respond to:

We are asking for comments on both papers by 18 January 2021.

Next steps

We will finalise our proposals taking account of responses to this engagement and publish relevant Statements of Policy on our website in due course. We may reissue a revised Statement of Policy in future if our policy changes. 

We plan to consult in Q2 of 2021 on our approach to the exercise of our powers under the proposed Article 21A and Article 23C. 

We will conduct a further consultation in 2021 in relation to any decision to exercise the proposed Article 23D power in respect of LIBOR. 

Overview

We explain in our overview document where a Statement of Policy would be expected and the background and context to this work.