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Libor - update

27 Mar 2012

Following the statement issued on 5 March 2012, BBA Libor has today [Wednesday 28 March 2012] set out the next steps for the consultation on a number of technical issues.

The BBA, the contributing banks and users of the rate are committed to the continuing evolution of Libor so that it adapts to meet the changing market and user requirements and general expectations. 

The review

The review will consider three broad areas:

1. The financial instruments included for the purposes of defining the rate;
2. A rigorous code of requirements for all contributors; and
3. Strengthening the statistical underpinning of the contributions. 

The Process

  • The consultation will be led by an industry steering group consisting of a cross section of contributing banks and of users of the rate.
  • The Authorities are engaged with the initiative and will be kept fully informed throughout the process.
  • The independent Foreign Exchange and Money Market Committee (FX and MM committee) is fully supportive of the Libor review process and will be playing an active role in the consultation.

Preliminary meetings with key users have been held to advise them about the process. They support the planned way forward. 

Comment

A spokesman for the industry steering group said:

"The review is a process which we will be undertaking to develop Libor for the future and will be undertaken in consultation with the market. As contributing banks we will continue working to ensure that the system is robust and authoritative, recognising the range of customers who use the rate and the many uses to which it is put." 

Derek Sammann, CME Group Managing Director of Interest Rate and FX Products  said:

"BBA Libor ranks among the most widely used interest rate benchmarks.  It plays a critical role in global interest rate and credit markets. CME Group’s partnership with the BBA dates back more than 15 years, and we remain committed to working with BBA and others to make Libor the most robust short term interest rate index available."

David Clark, Chairman of the Wholesale Markets Brokers Association said: 

"The market requires a choice of interest rate reference curves and Libor is a vital and important part of this. We are glad to be part of this project."

Ian Mair, Chairman of the London Money Market Association said:

“It is important that all market participants have a choice of benchmarks. These should be developed to reflect the changes we see in the markets. We therefore welcome the opportunity to be involved in this process to guide the evolution of LIBOR.” 

Thomson Reuters said: 

“We welcome this announcement and will continue to support the BBA and the financial community in the calculation and distribution of LIBOR”

The BBA said: 

"The British Bankers’ Association has always kept Libor under review and we periodically consult the market and other interested parties on refinements they would like to see.  We will keep all interested parties informed as we go forward. Any recommendations arising from the exercise will be shared in full consultation with regulators and users."

We will keep the Authorities and all interested parties informed. We will issue further statements in due course. 

Notes to editors

1. The steering group will include Barclays, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, CME
2. Other users and contributors of the rate will be asked to participate.
3. The Authorities referred to in this statement are the UK Treasury, Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority.
4. LIBOR is kept under constant review by its board and an independent technical oversight committee. The last review was held in 2008/9. It included an open and wide-ranging consultation on all aspects of the design and calculation of LIBOR from which evolved the calculation and governance of the rates precisely in line with that which the market had asked.  Details are available at: www.bbalibor.com/news-releases/libor-gets-enhanced-governance-and-scrutiny-procedures
5. Oliver Wyman will be providing support for the steering group.
6. Contributing banks submit their rates directly and confidentially to Thomson Reuters who undertake the calculation and publish the Libor rates at midday every London business day. More information is at www.bbalibor.com.

 
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