Details of LIBOR Reform Taking Shape

In the wake of revelations that several major banks engaged in manipulation of LIBOR, the U.K. Financial Services Authority (FSA) is moving quickly to shore up confidence to the benchmark rate.

“This is bigger than just LIBOR,” said Martin Wheatley, the FSA official in charge of the overhaul. “It’s about investor confidence in financial markets so we want to fix it.”

Wheatley’s main objective will be to replace banks’ estimates of their costs of funding that currently make up LIBOR with numbers that are more closely related to reality. Because data on actual market transactions will not always be possible for all of LIBOR’s 10 currencies and 15 maturity dates, a hybrid quote- and transaction-based approach appears most likely.

The U.K. government is anxious to make the changes effective as soon as possible. Public comment is due by September 7, and Mr. Wheatley is expected to make his recommendations by the end of that month.

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Photo credit: Simdaperce

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