Tuesday roundup: repo index transparency, FSA on LIBOR, ESMA on seclending fees, RMA conference

Some highlights from today’s securities finance news include transparency in repo index prices, commentary from the FSA on LIBOR, ESMA reports to the FT on securities lending fees for UCITS and ETFs, and RMA gets serious about their annual conference.

Repo index transparency. We are wondering if ICAP’s free publication of its repo index data might mean its gets more traction than DTCC’s GCF Repo (TM) in certain quarters. the DTCC data are available for clients only. NYSE Liffe, which has licensed the DTCC indices, will argue that their repo futures data are available, but that isn’t quite the same as having access to the underlying index.

FSA on LIBOR. Martin Wheatley, Managing Director at the FSA, has been tasked with reviewing LIBOR (the “Wheatley Review”) and making recommendations for improving it or scrapping it. His initial speech last Friday hit all the right notes. Having been soundly beaten over the head by governments and the press for not being more aggressive about known LIBOR failures in the past, the FSA has a lot on the line to get this right. The markets may move faster than the FSA (see our repeated posts on LIBOR and repo indices) on this matter, but at least the FSA can follow up the rear with an official proclamation or two.

ESMA on securities lending fees. The Financial Times reported yesterday that ESMA is not trying to take away reasonable fees from asset managers in their securities lending business. According to the FT, “The European Securities and Markets Authority confirmed to FTAdviser that recently-published guidelines would only cover any profits made from securities lending and not apply to revenue held back to cover costs to fund managers.” Now, calculating what is a fee and what is profit is a whole other story…

The RMA Conference. US securities lending association RMA has been promoting their fall conference, and from the looks of it this year’s event may have more teeth than in prior years. Securities Lending Times has sent out a release with some of the topics including some of our favorites like indemnification and Basel III. Kudos to RMA for getting more robust with their conference planning. On the negative side, RMA has stopped providing free access to their quarterly survey data as compiled by Data Explorers. While we can understand the commercial reasons for limiting access, it is a shame for transparency.

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