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HMT and FCA actions – 2025 extension of transition period for benchmarks

HMT and FCA actions – 2025 extension of transition period for benchmarks

 

Background

  • On 22 July 2020, HM Treasury (HMT) announced that it would be extending the transitional period for third country benchmarks under the UK Benchmarks Regulation to 31 December 2025.
  • The proposed extension will provide economic and legal certainty for UK markets for longer.

Impacts

This expiry extension will allow UK supervised entities to continue using benchmarks provided by administrators located outside the UK in new financial contracts and instruments without these benchmarks being registered with the FCA until end-2025.

This prevents the risk of UK firms losing access after end-2022 to important benchmarks provided by non-UK administrators who are unable or unwilling to apply for continued market access through the existing third country regime under the UK Benchmarks Regulation.

The EU Benchmarks regulation (BMR) is a regulatory framework which places requirements on administrators, supervised contributors and supervised users of benchmarks.  These requirements relate to benchmark methodology, governance and transparency.  The BMR has directly applied in the UK since 1 January 2018.

To ensure that the existing regime continues to operate effectively following EU Exit, the UK made amendments to the BMR to address deficiencies through the Benchmarks (Amendment and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.  The BMR as amended will become retained EU law (UK BMR) and will take effect in the UK at the end of the EU Exit Transition Period (TP).

However, as of June 2020, only a limited number of third country benchmarks or administrators have come through the current BMR access routes.  Considering this, HM Treasury is proposing an extension to the transitional period for third country benchmarks to 31 December 2025.

Timeline with relevant dates to be logged on regulatory calendar

  • The extended transitional period will expire on 31 December 2025

Next steps

Any impacted firms should note the extension of the permissions for third-country benchmarks.  Remain aware of future actions and announcements by HM Treasury.