AIMA

The Alternative Investment Management Association

Alternative Investment Management Association Representing the global hedge fund industry

Indices as Benchmarks

The recent alleged manipulation of LIBOR, EURIBOR and TIBOR has highlighted the importance and vulnerabilities of indices used as benchmarks.  The integrity of benchmarks is central to the pricing of many financial instruments - such as IRSs, FRAs - and also plays an important role in risk management.  It is considered that any doubts about the accuracy and integrity of indices could undermine market confidence, cause significant among consumers and investors, as well as distort the real economy.  A number of initiatives have already been launched globally to help deal with issues in relation to benchmark manipulation, including the UK Wheatley Review of LIBOR and IOSCO work relating to oil price reporting. IOSCO, in particular, has undertaken a consultation exercise to create a set of internationally recognised principles upon which individual national regimes can be based. A final set of principles was published in July 2013.

At EU level, the European Commission (EC) amended its MADII/MAR proposals to clarify the unequivocal illegality of any manipulation of benchmarks, subject to administrative or criminal sanctions.  It, nonetheless, believes that further work beyond sanctioning is necessary and is currently considering a potential framework directive which will harmonise the method of production and use of benchmarks across the EU.

In September 2012, the EC issued a Consultation which sought to assess how to improve the production and governance of benchmarks at so that they accurately reflect the economic realities that they are intended to measure and are used appropriately.  AIMA submitted a response. A legislative proposal was published by the EC on 17 September 2013, which is now being considered by the European Parliament (EP) and Council of the European Union before inter-institutional Trialogues. The EP has set itself an ambitious timetable within which to finalise their position, bearing in mind the EP elections that are due to take place in 2014.

Prior to finalisation of the EU Proposal, the EBA and ESMA have published principles to be applied by submitters, administrators and users of benchmarks in the benchmark setting process.


Key legislative documents

European Commission Proposal for a Indices used as Benchmarks in Financial Instruments and Financial Contracts (September 2013)

IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks (July 2013)

ESMA and EBA Principles on Benchmarks (June 2013)


Relevant consultations

IOSCO

IOSCO Consultation on Principles for Financial Benchmarks (April 2013) 

IOSCO Consultation on Financial Benchmarks (January 2013)

EC

EC Consultation on a Possible Framework for the Regulation of the Production and Use of Indices as Benchmarks (September 2012)

ESAs

ESMA-EBA Consultation on Principles for Benchmarks-Setting Processes in the EU (January 2013)


AIMA documents

AIMA Briefing Note - Proposed Regulation on Indices Used as Benchmarks for Financial Instruments and Contracts (November 2013)

AIMA Summary of EC Proposed Regulation on Benchmarks (October 2013)

Response to EC Consultation on Possible Framework for the Regulation of the Production and Use of Indices as Benchmarks (November 2012)


Other documents

EBA Opinion on EC proposal for indices used as benchmarks for financial instruments and contracts (January 2014)

The Wheatley Review of Libor - Final Report (September 2012)

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      1. AIFMD
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      1. UK
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      3. MAD / MAR
      4. Flash Crash
      5. IOSCO
      6. Germany
      7. CFTC Automated Trading
    4. Insurance Regulation
      1. Solvency II
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      2. Indices as Benchmarks
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    3. Base Erosion - Profit Shifting (BEPS)
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    7. UK Investment Management Exemption (IME)
    8. UK Offshore Funds Regime
    9. Other
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      1. AIFMD
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      3. CFTC Registration and Exemptions
      4. Dealing Commission
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      7. FTT
      8. High Frequency Trading
      9. MiFID / MiFIR
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      13. UK Partnership Tax Review
      14. Trading
      15. Volcker Rule
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