The FCA has published Policy Statement 16/4: Fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access to regulated benchmarks (PS16/4).
In PS16/4 the FCA sets out final Handbook text and its responses to its earlier consultation on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) access to regulated benchmarks (Consultation Paper 15/18: Fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access to regulated benchmarks)
Having carefully considered the responses to its earlier consultation the FCA has decided to make some modifications to the proposals:
- it has decided to await the finalisation of the EU Benchmarks Regulation before applying a FRAND provision that applies to all users, and initially aligns the scope of users covered by its proposals with Article 37 MiFIR;
- this means that at this stage the FCA’s FRAND provisions would cover benchmarks users who are central counterparties, multilateral trading facilities and regulated markets. The FCA is effectively bringing forward to 2016 the implementation of Article 37 MiFIR; and
- if the EU Benchmarks Regulation contains a FRAND requirement for users not already covered by the FCA’s revised proposals, then, the regulator will look to extend the coverage of its FRAND provisions also to cover those users. This would be in line with the policy intention set out in its earlier consultation to apply FRAND requirements to all users of specified benchmarks.
The new Handbook provisions will come into force on 1 April 2016.