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Industry gets to ‘the tricky bit’ as Libor endgame approaches

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The transition from Libor is passing key tests as benchmark reform moves into its endgame. In October, the discounting rate for cleared interest rate derivatives was smoothly shifted to Sofr and Isda’s fall-back protocol was finally published. However, the Gordian knot of legacy loan contracts remains.

No one is hanging out ‘mission accomplished’ banners, but there are signs that the transition away from the use of Libor as a reference rate may have more in common with the relatively benign Y2K technology adjustment of the turn of the millennium than the descent into chaos for $400 trillion of financial contracts that some had feared.

Bankers acknowledge that there is still a great deal of work to be done to ensure that the target date of the end of 2021 for transition from Libor use can be achieved with minimal disruption; and regulators are putting on their serious faces as they prepare to deliver further warnings on the need for urgency.


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