On April 5th, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a statement welcoming the smooth transition away from LIBOR at the end of last year. The end of 2021 marked a major milestone in the transition away from LIBOR and the FSB welcomes the smooth transition to robust alternative rates across global markets, primarily overnight risk-free or nearly risk-free rates (RFRs). The absence of any significant market disruptions is a testament to the magnitude of market participants’ efforts and the level of attention from the regulators and industry bodies to support the transition to RFRs.
Given the significant use of USD LIBOR globally, the FSB emphasises that firms must have plans in place to ensure their preparedness for the cessation of the USD LIBOR panel. Firms should have already ceased new use of USD LIBOR. It has been repeatedly emphasised by authorities that the continuation of some USD LIBOR settings through to end-June 2023 is intended only to allow legacy contracts to mature.
To ensure financial stability, it is important that market participants transition from LIBOR and other IBORs that are set to be discontinued. The FSB encourages firms to maintain momentum in active transition of legacy LIBOR contracts that reference synthetic GBP and JPY LIBOR settings. The FSB also continues to support engagement with emerging market and developing economies to maintain a smooth transition from LIBOR to RFRs, across all global markets.
The FSB plans to conduct a follow-up assessment in H2 2022 to identify any remaining transition and supervisory challenges to support the LIBOR transition effort. The FSB’s Official Sector Steering Group (OSSG) will continue to serve as a forum in 2022 and 2023 for cooperation amongst authorities that have leading roles in interest rate benchmark reforms and transition preparedness.
The FSB OSSG is currently led by co-chairs John C. Williams, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Financial Conduct Authority, who succeeded Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, in this role in January 2022.