On 21 October 2022, the FCA published LIBOR Notice: Article 21(3) Benchmarks Regulation – Notice of first decision.
The notice sets forth that the FCA has decided to compel ICE Benchmark Administration Limited to continue publishing 1- month sterling, and 6- month sterling LIBOR.
The compulsion period shall be for 3 months starting immediately after the publication of the 2 LIBOR versions on 30 December 2022 and ending immediately after the final publication on 31 March 2023.
This decision was taken following a public consultation on 30 June 2022, where the FCA recognised that market participants would value having a period of notice before the cessation of synthetic sterling LIBOR, and that it would take a certain amount of time to analyse and consider fully the responses received to the consultation (as well as other relevant evidence), to follow up with respondents on any specific issues raised, and to announce the final decision.
The FCA considers that there are practicable conversion mechanisms available for outstanding contracts referencing the 2 LIBOR versions in the vast majority of cases, and parties should be able to complete transition in time. In addition, the FCA considers that providing a clear cessation date will provide additional impetus for parties to act.