End-game for Libor is now clear, say UK financial regulators

The final countdown to Libor's demise is now clear and there will be checks that senior bankers are ending use of the interest rate benchmark by the end of 2021, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

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LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - The final countdownto Libor's demise is now clear and there will be checks that senior bankers are ending use of the interest rate benchmark by the end of 2021, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

Firms should have everything they need to shift new financial contracts to SONIA, the BoE overnight interest rate, said Edwin Schooling Latter, director of markets and wholesale policy at the FCA.

"There is no longer any reason for delay," he said.

Regulators want the use of Libor ended after banks were fined for trying to rig what was once dubbed the world's most important number.

It still underpins trillions of dollars in contracts globally, from loans to credit cards and mortgages, even though it is underpinned by few actual market transactions.

Libor compiler ICE Benchmark is formally consulting on ceasing publication of all sterling Libor rates at the end of 2021.

Markets face key interim deadlines, such as ending the use of Libor from the end of March for pricing loans that mature after the end of 2021.

"Senior managers with responsibility for the transition should expect close supervisory engagement on how they are ensuring their firm’s progress relative to industry milestones," the BoE and FCA said.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Ed Osmond)

((huw.jones@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 3326; Reuters Messaging: huw.jones.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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