LIBOR replacement: FINMA publishes guidance

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that it no longer intends to support the LIBOR benchmark interest rate from 2021 onwards. Alternative reference rates are therefore currently being discussed around the world – including in Switzerland. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has published guidance detailing the risks of a potential replacement of LIBOR.

Many financial products and contracts are dependent on the LIBOR benchmark interest rates. The possible elimination of LIBOR from 2021 onwards may therefore be associated with risks for the supervised institutions. FINMA has published guidance detailing its assessment of these risks for the supervised institutions. In particular, FINMA sees legal risks, valuation risks and risks in relation to operational readiness for the supervised institutions.

FINMA recommends that the supervised institutions address the challenges of a potential replacement of LIBOR in good time. FINMA will discuss the issue of how the institutions can deal with these risks within the scope of its supervisory activities.

The full guidance is available at https://www.finma.ch/en/news/2018/12/20181217-aktuell-libor-aufsichtsmitteilung/

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