Make no mistake, the financial benchmark LIBOR will be going away, insists the head of the Financial Stability Board (FSB).
In a letter to the G20 ahead of its meetings in Riyadh on Feb. 22 and 23, Randal Quarles, chair of the FSB, highlighted the transition away from LIBOR to new benchmarks as a central challenge for the financial industry and global policymakers in the year ahead.
“Some continue to speculate that LIBOR could remain in production indefinitely. This speculation is misguided,” Quarles said.
Quarles maintained that LIBOR will be ending in the next couple of years, and noted that there’s much to be done to “ensure a smooth transition to a post-LIBOR world.” He reported that the FSB is currently surveying its members to assess global readiness for the end of LIBOR.
In July, the FSB will report on regulators’ efforts and the challenges with benchmark transition. It plans to publish a progress report ahead of the G20 meeting in November.
Along with LIBOR, Quarles also highlighted other top issues for the FSB, including the emerging digital asset markets, the growth of shadow banking and cybersecurity.
“The potential risks to the financial system from cyber incidents remain a major concern,” Quarles said.
In April, the FSB will publish a toolkit for the industry and regulators on dealing with cybersecurity issues. It also aims to publish a consultation paper on regulatory issues, and possible responses, arising from the development of so-called “stablecoins.”
“Digital tokens that aim to be payment substitutes have the potential to become globally systemic, not least because they may fill needs not met by existing cross-border payment systems,” Quarles said.
The FSB is also forming a group to consider possible risks from the rise of shadow banking.
In the second half of 2020, it intends to publish a new framework for identifying new and emerging risks to financial stability in general.