GBP LIBOR transition market brief — Q3 2020
- August 28, 2020
Hedging and Capital Markets
Private Equity | London
Chatham's update on the GBP LIBOR transition, summarizing upcoming deadlines, recent news, and available resources to help you stay current as the market transitions away from LIBOR.
Transition timing, changes to interim deadlines, and proposed legislation
Even amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, regulators and other market participants have continued to lay out transition plans; indicating that they plan to stick to the ultimate deadline of 31 December 2021 for the LIBOR transition. Edwin Schooling Latter, head of markets and wholesale policy with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), even suggested that regulators could make an announcement as soon as the end of 2020 regarding the date of LIBOR’s discontinuation — presumably after 31 December 2021.
However, we have seen changes to certain interim deadlines. Most significantly, in April, the FCA and the Bank of England (BoE) announced a six-month extension of UK lenders’ deadline to cease issuing GBP LIBOR-based loans, extending the cutoff from 30 September 2020 to 31 March 2021.
In addition, on 28 July, the BoE’s Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates released the third update to their road map, where they:
- indicated that they expect live term SONIA rates by the end of 2020, rather than in Q3 as previously expected
- provided guidance that conversion of legacy bonds and loans has been delayed until the end of Q3 2020, having previously been expected at the end of Q2
- announced the publication of a road map for transitioning issuance of new loans to SONIA, expected at the end of Q3 2021
- reminded financial institutions that the Working Group expects them to complete assessment of their existing books of LIBOR-linked loans by Q1 2021
- established a new deadline of Q2/Q3 2021 for cessation of new issuance of GBP LIBOR linked non-linear and cross-currency derivatives maturing beyond 2021
On 23 June, the UK Government published a proposal to give the FCA additional powers related to the transition. This included the ability to change the methodology used to calculate LIBOR, during its wind down, in narrowly defined tough legacy contracts.
Chatham recommends that market participants continue to prepare for transition as though there will be no easing of the current timetable as laid out here.
- Chatham has the following SONIA resources available:
- The Bank of England publishes SONIA by 9 a.m. each business day:
- Third update to roadmap by Bank of England Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates
Speak to a Chatham expert
Please reach out to the Chatham team if you have questions about how the LIBOR transition could impact your loans and derivatives.
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Transactions in over-the-counter derivatives (or “swaps”) have significant risks, including, but not limited to, substantial risk of loss. You should consult your own business, legal, tax and accounting advisers with respect to proposed swap transaction and you should refrain from entering into any swap transaction unless you have fully understood the terms and risks of the transaction, including the extent of your potential risk of loss. This material has been prepared by a sales or trading employee or agent of Chatham Hedging Advisors and could be deemed a solicitation for entering into a derivatives transaction. This material is not a research report prepared by Chatham Hedging Advisors. If you are not an experienced user of the derivatives markets, capable of making independent trading decisions, then you should not rely solely on this communication in making trading decisions. All rights reserved.20-0329
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