Monday 11 January 2021 12:06 pm

Regulator urges firms 'don't delay' as the end is nigh for Libor

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has again reminded firms they must complete their transfer away from the Libor benchmark interest rate this year. 

The city watchdog said firms had just one year left to remove their remaining reliance on these benchmarks.

Libor, or the London Interbank Offered Rate, is an interest rate benchmark used in contracts worth around £355trn globally. 

Read more: Trader convicted of rigging Libor to be released from prison in January

The rate was widely discredited after banks were fined billions of dollars for trying to rig it for a profit, and global regulators including the FCA, are pushing to scrap it by the end of 2021. 

FCA director of markets and wholesale policy Edwin Schooling said: “The end-game for LIBOR is now increasingly clear. Firms should now have everything they need to shift new business to Sonia and to complete their plans for transition of legacy exposures. There is no longer any reason for delay.”

Read more: Prepare for Libor’s demise, City regulator tells markets

In March, the regulator warned that the coronavirus pandemic was likely to make it harder for some firms to meet milestones for the transition from Libor to other rates such as Sonia – an overnight interest rate compiled by the Bank of England. 

Andrew Hauser, executive director for markets at the Bank of England added: “As we move into the final year for sterling LIBOR transition, it is crucial that firms take action now to make certain they are prepared well in advance of the end of 2021.”