On 1 December 2023, the FCA published a notice of first decision, dated 15 November 2023, which has been issued to ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (IBA) under Article 21(3) of the UK Benchmarks Regulation. The notice sets out the FCA’s decision to compel IBA to continue publishing 3-month sterling LIBOR (the LIBOR Version) for a period of 3 months starting immediately after the publication of the LIBOR Version on 29 December 2023 and ending immediately after the final publication on 28 March 2024.
The LIBOR panel banks ceased contributing input data in respect of the LIBOR Version after 31 December 2021. IBA had previously notified the FCA that it planned to cease providing the LIBOR Version after 31 December 2021 unless the FCA exercised its powers to require IBA to continue to publish the LIBOR version on a “synthetic” basis. On 23 November 2022, the FCA required IBA to continue to publish the LIBOR Version under the existing changed “synthetic” methodology for a further 12 months from 30 December 2022 until immediately after final publication of the LIBOR Version on 29 December 2023.
The FCA explains that it has made this decision to provide more time for market participants, especially parties to mortgage contracts, to complete transition away from the LIBOR Version in an orderly fashion. It also confirms that it has no intention to use its powers to compel IBA to continue to publish the LIBOR Version beyond 28 March 2024.