The FCA has published a new webpage for benchmark administrators applying for authorisation or registration under the Regulation on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds (Benchmarks Regulation).
The webpage states that while formal applications open on 1 January 2018, from 1 October 2017 benchmark administrators can submit an early draft application to the FCA using its draft application forms. Firms applying to become an authorised or registered benchmark administrator should complete the form on the FCA’s online system Connect. Firms submitting early applications should ensure that the draft forms are completed in full, and provide all supporting documentation.
From 1 January 2018, the timeframes set out in the Benchmarks Regulation are 4 months for authorisation and 45 days for registration. Submitting an early application allows the FCA to review draft applications before the time limits are triggered.
Firms will be able to finalise their draft applications from 1 January 2018 by notifying the Case Officer reviewing their application and submitting the application fee. The draft forms may change and, from 1 January 2018, firms may need to make amendments to their draft application.
Third country benchmark administrators must apply to be added to the European Securities and Markets Authority list of benchmarks in one of three ways: equivalence, recognition or endorsement. The application forms for recognition and endorsement will be available from 1 January 2018.