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ASIC consults on new financial benchmark regime

The corporate regulator has proposed a new regulatory regime for financial benchmarks including the bank bill swap rate, the consumer price index and the cash rate.


ASIC is consulting with industry about a new regulatory regime for Australian financial benchmarks.

The regulator is preparing for the likely passage of legislation that will create a licensing system for financial benchmarks that ASIC deems to be "significant".

According to the Consultation Paper 292: Implementing the financial benchmark regulatory regime, ASIC expects five benchmarks to be eligible for the new rules: the bank bill swap rate, the S&P/ASX200, the ASX bond futures settlement price, the RBA cash rate and the consumer price index.

The Council of Financial Regulators (CFR), which provided advice to government on the implementation of the new regime, also identified the WM/Reuters Australian dollar foreign exchange benchmark as "potentially significant".

"We will continue to monitor the benchmarks identified by respondents to the CFR consultation against the criteria for significant benchmarks. We will undertake consultation, as appropriate, before declaring any other benchmarks as significant," said ASIC.

ASIC said it proposes to write 'compelled rules' that must be followed by the operators of significant financial benchmarks.

The regulator has also proposed a set of rules that will closely oversee the setting of the bank bill swap rate.

ASIC is currently pursuing action against ANZ, Westpac and NAB in the Federal Court relating to alleged manipulation of the bank bill swap rate.

 

 

 

 

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