On 8 September 2021, the Critical Benchmarks (References and Administrators’ Liability) Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords.

The Explanatory notes to the Bill explain both the policy and legal background to the Bill. In summary, the Bill will:

  • Support the orderly wind-down of critical benchmarks, protecting both users of these benchmarks and the integrity of the UK’s financial markets.
  • Support the effective operation of the powers granted to the FCA under the Financial Services Act 2021 to oversee the wind-down of a critical benchmark. In particular, the Bill will provide legal certainty as to how contractual references to a critical benchmark should be treated where the FCA exercises powers under the Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) to provide for the continuity of an unrepresentative critical benchmark.
  • Grant an immunity to the administrator of a critical benchmark that is designated under Article 23A of the BMR where the administrator acts in accordance with specific requirements imposed upon it by the FCA.