The UK Treasury and the Bank of England are studying a central bank digital currency. The institutions say they are forming a task force to coordinate preparations for a digital currency that would "exist alongside cash and bank deposits, rather than replacing them."
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The International Swaps and Derivatives Association's Ibor Fallbacks Protocol that reduces the systemic risk associated with the cessation of certain interbank offered rates has gained wide support. Almost 14,000 entities have adhered to the protocol, according to ISDA. "The ISDA protocol has been a resounding success in de-risking the derivatives market," said Tom Wipf, chair of the US Alternative Reference Rates Committee.
The European Commission is raising pressure on EU financial firms to move their euro swaps clearing activity out of London. Banks say that a forced swaps clearing migration would have consequences for them and their clients by giving US competitors an advantage in derivatives execution and clearing.
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has proposed reforms that would scrap several requirements under Europe's revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, including the share trading obligation. Removing the STO would make it highly unlikely that the UK and EU reach an equivalence agreement.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority has named Sacha Sadan as its director of environment, social and governance, tasked with developing the regulator's approach to sustainable finance. In the new post, Sadan will help develop policy to "ensure the long-term safety and soundness of firms, the proper function of markets and the protection of consumers," the FCA said.
US Commodity Futures Trading Commission member Dawn DeBerry Stump says the US and other jurisdictions should remove limitations that keep market participants from using derivatives clearing infrastructures outside their home countries. "Without deference to comparable regulatory regimes, we subject the very infrastructure we depend upon to deliver the reforms, such as [central counterparties], to a confusing web of compliance issues, or worse a market that is fragmented and less systemically sound," DeBerry Stump said.
Chinese markets are being monitored for big inflows and outflows of foreign money, says Fang Xinghai, chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The commission is confident it can keep capital markets steady while widening access, Fang says.
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The ISDA Research Note examines several major developments in 2021 that have been announced and/or are expected to occur related to the adoption of replacement benchmarks such as risk-free rates (RFRs). It also reviews the significant progress made on the transition from LIBOR and other IBORs to RFRs in 2020. The full paper is available here.