On Wednesday, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, along with the Bank of England and a Working Group, has asked the financial companies that are using synthetic LIBOR to adopt a permanent and robust alternative to the controversial LIBOR.

The FCA discontinued most of the LIBOR at the end of 2021. This prompted the majority of the industry to make a transition to SONIA, as £13 trillion LIBOR-referencing contracts converted to SONIA last December. In addition, it added that there is no longer any sterling LIBOR-linked cleared derivatives.

But, the UK agency introduced a synthetic LIBOR in November for two currencies, pound sterling and yen, for its temporary usage in existing contracts. “The FCA has been clear that synthetic LIBOR is a temporary  bridge  to RFRs, and its availability is not guaranteed beyond end-2022,” the regulator clarified.

It will consider retiring 1-month and 6-month synthetic sterling  LIBOR  at the end of 2022 and decide on a date to put an end to the 3-month sterling synthetic LIBOR.

The Dominance of SONIA

Moreover, the FCA’s decision to put an end to LIBOR prompted other global regulators to urge companies to find alternatives to the widely used benchmark. By far, SONIA is the most used alternative in the UK. Its floating rate note issuance in cash markets has exceeded £120 billion since 2018, and new SONIA lending surpassed £100 billion in diverse sectors.

According to the Bank of Estimates, less than 2 percent of the total sterling LIBOR legacy stock remains and notes still remain, and firms are already addressing this residual exposure.

“It is difficult to think of a more far-reaching and substantial market shift in recent years than the transition away from LIBOR,” said Andrew Bailey, the Governor of The Bank of England. “The fact that most LIBOR settings ended at end-2021 with minimal disruption is a testament to the co-operation across a wide range of industry sectors and jurisdictions.”

On Wednesday, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, along with the Bank of England and a Working Group, has asked the financial companies that are using synthetic LIBOR to adopt a permanent and robust alternative to the controversial LIBOR.

The FCA discontinued most of the LIBOR at the end of 2021. This prompted the majority of the industry to make a transition to SONIA, as £13 trillion LIBOR-referencing contracts converted to SONIA last December. In addition, it added that there is no longer any sterling LIBOR-linked cleared derivatives.

But, the UK agency introduced a synthetic LIBOR in November for two currencies, pound sterling and yen, for its temporary usage in existing contracts. “The FCA has been clear that synthetic LIBOR is a temporary  bridge  to RFRs, and its availability is not guaranteed beyond end-2022,” the regulator clarified.

It will consider retiring 1-month and 6-month synthetic sterling  LIBOR  at the end of 2022 and decide on a date to put an end to the 3-month sterling synthetic LIBOR.

The Dominance of SONIA

Moreover, the FCA’s decision to put an end to LIBOR prompted other global regulators to urge companies to find alternatives to the widely used benchmark. By far, SONIA is the most used alternative in the UK. Its floating rate note issuance in cash markets has exceeded £120 billion since 2018, and new SONIA lending surpassed £100 billion in diverse sectors.

According to the Bank of Estimates, less than 2 percent of the total sterling LIBOR legacy stock remains and notes still remain, and firms are already addressing this residual exposure.

“It is difficult to think of a more far-reaching and substantial market shift in recent years than the transition away from LIBOR,” said Andrew Bailey, the Governor of The Bank of England. “The fact that most LIBOR settings ended at end-2021 with minimal disruption is a testament to the co-operation across a wide range of industry sectors and jurisdictions.”