This should be the
time to tiptoe (very gently) back into the murky twilight that exists between
the legal/regulatory profession and markets, but as this column rarely believes
in doing anything gently, we’ll just pile right in. Are ...
The Australian Financial Markets Association (AFMA) has announced that it will transfer administration of the BBSW (bank bill swap rate) benchmark rate to ASX. It is the intention of both parties that ASX will administer BBSW from 1 January 2017.
AFMA says ASX was selected following a “highly competitive process” that Profit & Loss understands included Ice Benchmark and Thomson Reuters, which began in July 2016 with a public invitation for interested parties to register their interest as a potential alternate benchmark administrator for the rate setting.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have jointly welcomed the publication of new guidelines for the setting of the local interest rate benchmark, the Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW).
A major concern over recent years has been the low trading volumes during the rate set window, the time of day that BBSW is measured. In response, the BBSW methodology is being strengthened to enable the benchmark to be calculated directly from a wider set of market transactions.
In a brief statement today, ANZ has announced it has reached a confidential in-principle agreement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to settle court action relating to the Australian interbank BBSW market.
ANZ, along with NAB and Westpac, has been charged by ASIC in respect of allegations it attempted to manipulate the local interest rate benchmark setting process – the Bank Bill Swap Rate.
The bank has not said how much it has agreed to pay, nor whether it is admitting guilt.