The European Central Bank has published the minutes of the first meeting of the Euro Risk Free Rates Working Group held on 26 February 2018, including concluding remarks from ESMA’s Chair, Steven Maijoor, who reinforced that “there will be no extension of the transitional period under the EU Benchmarks Regulation.”
“Consequently, we need to conclude our tasks before 2020, or at least take into account that the transition period will end by the end of next year. We need to take the existing legal framework for benchmarks, the EU Benchmarks Regulation, as the departure point,” he added.
The ECB has set up a working group, together with the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Commission, which is tasked with, among other things, identifying and recommending alternative risk-free rates. Such rates could serve as a basis for an alternative to current benchmarks used in a variety of financial instruments and contracts in the euro area.