LIBOR Transition: What You Need to Know

Replacing the world’s most widely used interest rate benchmark

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made it clear that the publication of LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, will cease. LIBOR, a benchmark interest rate at which major global banks lend to one another in the interbank market, is underpinning over $200 trillion[1] USD of financial contracts. With the approaching end to LIBOR as an interest rate index, financial institutions and individuals or entities with loans that could be impacted need to understand what this change means in order to limit disruption and mitigate risk.
 

March 2021 Update

On March 5, the ICE Benchmark Administration, the benchmark administrator for LIBOR (IBA), and the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the regulatory supervisor of the IBA (FCA), announced the dates after which all 35 LIBOR settings will either cease to be provided or will no longer be representative. This confirmation was expected following a similar November 30 statement by the Federal Reserve Board around the proposed cessation dates and provides certainty regarding when LIBOR rates will no longer be available.

  • After December 31, 2021, the 1 week and 2 month USD LIBOR rates and all sterling, euro, Swiss franc and Japanese yen rates will no longer be available.
  • After June 30, 2023, all remaining USD LIBOR rates will no longer be available.

Following this announcement, the fallback spread adjustments published by Bloomberg were set, effective March 5, 2021. The announcement does not trigger implementation of a new reference rate for existing loans or swaps. 

The Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency previously issued guidance encouraging banks to stop entering new USD LIBOR contracts as soon as practicable, but no later than December 31, 2021. Further, regulators have directed banks that any new lending or derivatives contracts entered into during 2021 should utilize an alternative index rate or include fallback language that clearly defines an alternative index rate following the discontinuing of LIBOR.
 

What is LIBOR?

LIBOR has been used globally as a benchmark to gauge funding costs and investment returns for financial contracts for more than 3 decades. It is used to help set the interest rates on many loans, swaps, bonds, credit cards, adjustable rate mortgages, and other products offered by financial institutions.

 

Why is LIBOR being phased out?

Changing industry norms and LIBOR manipulation scandals are driving a shift away from LIBOR, causing interbank lending markets to become much thinner and the number of actual transactions upon which the rate is based to decrease significantly. That has caused regulators globally to actively advocate that markets move away from LIBOR to a more reliable index.

 

How is PNC preparing for the LIBOR transition?

PNC has a large team dedicated to this transition that is active in many industry working groups and closely engaged with market activities. No action is required of clients at this time. PNC will provide further updates and new documents or amendments to existing documents to facilitate the transition as replacement reference rates are identified and implemented in the financial industry generally.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

LIBOR Transition Resources

Alternative Reference Rate Committee

ARRC is group of private-market participants convened by the Federal Reserve Board and the New York Fed.

Visit ARRC »

 

ARRC SOFR Transition
Overview

In 2017, the ARRC selected SOFR as the rate that represents best practice for use in certain new USD derivatives and other financial contracts.

Learn More »

 

ARRC
SOFR User
Guide

This note is intended to help explain how market participants can use SOFR in cash products.

View Guide »

 

International Swaps and Derivatives Association

ISDA is comprised of a broad range of derivatives market participants.

Visit ISDA Transition from LIBOR »

 

Federal Reserve Bank of
New York

Working within the Federal Reserve System, the New York Fed implements monetary policy, supervises and regulates financial institutions and helps maintain the nation's payment system.

Visit New York Fed»
 

Important Legal Disclosures and Information

1. https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/Microsites/arrc/files/2018/ARRC-Second-report

The information contained in this site is of a general nature and does not constitute the provision by PNC of investment, legal, tax, or accounting advice. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. The information was obtained from sources deemed reliable. Such information is not guaranteed as to its accuracy.

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