20 min read 2 Dec 19
Summary: LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, is being retired. It, and most other Interbank Offered Rates (IBORs), are making way for more reliable replacements. Others are being reformed.
By the end of 2021, new rates will be in place for each IBOR. Financial regulators have been closely engaged with industry working groups to identify alternative replacement reference rates. In the UK, for example, the Sterling Overnight Index Average, also known as SONIA, has been chosen to replace Sterling LIBOR. In the US, the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, SOFR, will replace US$ LIBOR
Regulators globally want to promote greater transparency, measurability and credibility in central-bank administered rate-setting processes, which are based on actual transactions, where possible.
They have acted because the use of interbank lending has declined substantially since the global financial crisis, which has had an effect on the reliability of some LIBOR rates. Panel banks are still providing quotes across LIBOR’s broad spectrum of rates, but the volume of transactions has fallen. Historic rate-rigging scandals also continue to weigh on LIBOR’s reputation, despite it now being subject to much stricter official oversight.
The regulators require the replacement rates to be in place by the end of 2021. The transition process is already underway, with most replacement rates already having been identified, and it is possible, or even likely, that the replacement rates will be in full effect before that current deadline.
One reason for providing a long lead time is to give parties affected by the changes sufficient time to ensure as smooth a transition as possible and to minimise the effect on all market participants. Ideally, the changes will be transparent and borrowers, lenders and investors will experience little or no effect.
We aim to provide regular updates to this information to reflect the position of the transitions as they develop.
Industry working groups in each market have already identified preferred replacement risk-free rates (RFRs). The main ones are:
The agreement from panel banks to provide quotes for LIBOR expires on 31 December 2021. Some of the key milestones that have occurred to date in the development of solutions, and the transitions to them are highlighted below:
|Current Reference Rate||Expected Alternative||First Publish Dates (as alternatives)||Alternative Rate Supervisor||Cut off date|
|LIBOR (GBP)||London Inter-Bank Offered Rate||SONIA||Sterling Overnight Index Average (Unsecured)||23rd April 2018||Bank of England||31 Dec 2021|
|USD LIBOR (USD)||USD London Inter-Bank Offered Rate||SOFR||Secured Overnight Financing Rate (Secured)||3rd April 2018||Federal Reserve Bank of New York||31 Dec 2021|
|EURIBOR (EUR)||Euro Inter-Bank Offer Rate||EURIBOR||Reformed EURIBOR||Staggered reform completed end-2019||European Money Markets Institute||N/A|
|EONIA and EUR LIBOR (EUR)||Euro Overnight Index Average / Euro London Inter-Bank Offered Rate||ESTR||
Euro Short Term Rate
|2nd October 2019||European Central Bank||31 Dec 2021|
|CHF LIBOR (CHF)||CHF London Inter-Bank Offer Rate||SARON||
Swiss Average Rate Overnight
|December 2017||SIX Swiss Exchange Ltd||31 Dec 2021|
|JPY LIBOR and TIBOR (JPY)||JPY London Inter-Bank Offered Rate / Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate (TIBOR) (derivatives only)
Tokyo Overnight Average Rate
|December 2016||Bank of Japan||31 Dec 2021|
Note: CDOR (Canadian IBOR), HIBOR (Hong Kong IBOR), SIBOR (Singapore IBOR) and other currencies not included as no IBOR exposure found historically
The value of the fund's assets will go down as well as up. This will cause the value of your investment to fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you originally invested.
LIBOR is an interest rate, or more correctly a family of interest rates, that are representative of the rates at which banks have historically been prepared to lend among themselves. They are available across a range of standardised time horizons, from overnight to 12 months ahead. Each rate is calculated based on quotes, or submissions, from a panel of banks for a number of major currencies.
* an overnight rate from the spot date (usually 1 or 2 days hence) to the next business day
Source: M&G, ICE, September 2019.
We are members of the industry group, supported by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England, working to make the market-wide transition as smooth as possible, and determining best practice in areas of the market, such as floating rate notes. Any effect on the value of your clients investments is currently expected to be negligible or very small, at the time of change. However, there can be no guarantee that circumstances may not arise which result in a more material change to investment values.
Where a fund has an objective related to LIBOR it will need to change. We will make this change in line with best market practice and with the aim to have minimal effect on how the fund is managed. We will communicate to you and your clients any planned changes to fund objectives before they take effect.
The replacement rates are largely similar to the IBORs they are replacing, but there are some important differences industry participants should be aware of.
Unsecured lending is provided “in good faith”, with no collateral provided by the borrower to protect the lender. Secured lending means that the borrower provides something of value – collateral – to support its borrowing.
No. We are managing the transition away from LIBOR and other IBORS in a way that is intended to minimise the effect on all our customers.
The value of investments will fluctuate, which will cause prices to fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the original amount they invested.