Interbank Offered Rates (IBORs)* are being replaced by new Risk-Free Rates (RFRs) across the global financial markets. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that most LIBOR interest benchmarks would cease to be published after 31 December 2021. This means that representative LIBOR rates are no longer available for Sterling, Euro, Swiss Franc and Japanese Yen, although representative rates will continue to be published for US Dollar until June 2023. Please visit the Bank of England's website to see more detail of the UK’s progress.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IF I HAVE A LIBOR-LINKED FACILITY?
If you have a LIBOR-linked facility (see explanation below), we will have already contacted you to make you aware of the alternative rates available to you. This will either have been a new Risk-Free rate, such as SONIA (see explanation below) or a Bank of England Base Rate.
A LIBOR-linked facility is when the rate applied to your facility is linked to prevailing LIBOR rates.
The Bank of England Base Rate, set by the Monetary Policy Committee, is the key benchmark for interest, mortgage and savings rates.
SONIA (Sterling Over Night Indexed Average) is an overnight rate, that is based on actual transactions and reflects the average of the interest rates that banks pay to borrow sterling overnight from other financial institutions.
The Bank of England is the administrator for SONIA and takes responsibility for its governance and publication every London business day. SONIA is used to value around £30 trillion of assets each year. It is the preferred benchmark recommended by the Bank of England Working Group on Sterling Risk Free Reference Rates for the transition to sterling risk-free rates from LIBOR.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT NEXT?
If you have any borrowing or financial contracts that use LIBOR interest benchmark rates, we will have already contacted you about our proposed approach and the transition to an alternative rate when LIBOR ceases to be available (including the relevant changes to your terms). Once we have transitioned you to your new rate, we will write to confirm that the transition has taken place along with details of your new borrowing rate.
If you have investment funds or portfolios, you may wish to check if you hold any LIBOR-linked assets. The issuers of the assets will be responsible for reviewing these assets and taking the appropriate action.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do contact your wealth manager who’ll be happy to help.
Alternatively, you may wish to seek advice from an independent professional advisor, such as an accountant or lawyer, to help assess what the changes may mean for you.
The alternative Risk-Free Rates are being considered for all IBOR currencies by the Bank of England Working Groups and are expected to be as per below:
* IBOR is the interest rate at which banks lend to and borrow from one another in the interbank market. LIBOR is one of a number of IBORs, it's calculated and published daily across five currencies (GBP, USD, EUR, JPY and CHF) and seven maturities (overnight, one week, and 1, 2, 3, 6 and 12 months) by the Intercontinental Exchange Benchmark Administrator (ICE BA).
The information provided on our website is to help you understand the changes; however this does not constitute financial or legal advice