Inside this Topic Guide
The allegations and cases of benchmark manipulation across the globe have caused a number of governments and regulatory bodies to scrutinise how benchmarks are set and administered.
International: At the international level the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published Principles for Oil Price Reporting Agencies in December 2012 and its Final Report on Principles for Financial Benchmarks in July 2013, shortly after the Financial Stability Board established the Official Sector Steering Group of regulators and central banks to coordinate consistency of review of existing interest rate benchmarks.
EU Benchmarks Regulation: At an EU level, on 1 January 2018, the EU Regulation on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds (Regulation (EU) 2016/1011) entered into full application, subject to certain transitional arrangements. The stated overall objective of the EU Regulation is to help restore confidence in the integrity of benchmarks by enhancing the robustness and reliability of benchmarks, facilitating the prevention and detection of their manipulation and clarifying responsibility for and the supervision of benchmarks by the authorities. It regulates the administration of, contribution to and use of a broad range of indices and replaces corresponding benchmark regulatory regimes previously in place in member states. Amendments to the EU Benchmarks Regulation seek to address challenges with amending tough legacy contracts for IBOR transition purposes.
See EU Benchmarks Regulation section below and our Client Briefing The new EU Benchmarks Regulation: What you need to know (September 2016) for more information.
National: Outside the EU, jurisdictions are taking different approaches to the regulation of benchmarks. Some jurisdictions like Australia, Singapore, Japan and Korea have adopted regulatory reforms that target a few, specifically designated benchmarks. Others, like the USA, have preferred to achieve the objectives of the IOSCO Principles through more robust enforcement rather than new supervisory architecture.
|12 February 2021||Regulation (EU) 2021/168 regarding the exemption of certain third-country spot foreign exchange benchmarks and the designation of replacements for certain benchmarks in cessation, and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 published in the OJ. The Regulation makes various amendments to the EU Benchmarks Regulation, with the intention of reducing the disruption caused by the phasing out of various widely-used benchmarks scheduled to happen in 2021. The Regulation also extends the transitional period under which benchmarks administered in third countries can continue to be used from 31 December 2021 to 31 December 2023.|
|27 December 2019||Regulation (EU) 2019/2175 amending the EU Benchmarks Regulation among others. Under these amendments, ESMA takes over the supervision of critical benchmark administrators from 1 January 2022.|
|9 December 2019||Regulation (EU) 2019/2089 regarding EU Climate Transition Benchmarks, EU Paris-aligned Benchmarks and sustainability-related disclosures for benchmarks published in the OJ. Among other things, it extends the transition regime for critical and third-country benchmarks until 31 December 2021.|
|30 July 2019||Commission Implementing Decisions on the equivalence of the legal and supervisory frameworks applicable to benchmarks in Singapore and in Australia, in accordance with the EU Benchmarks Regulation, are published in the Official Journal.|
|5 November 2018||Ten EU Commission Delegated Regulations supplementing the EU Benchmarks Regulation (EU 2016/1011) published in the Official Journal|
|13 July 2018||EU Commission endorsed Delegated Regulations under the EU Benchmarks Regulation.|
|10 November 2016||ESMA publishes report on technical advice for EU Benchmarks Regulation.|
|29 June 2016||EU Benchmarks Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/1011) is published in the Official Journal. The Regulation came into force on 30 June 2016.|