This June saw the second RIMES BMR Seminar take place in London. This year’s event took place during what remains a critical time for buy-side firms, as they continue to get to grips with the imminent enforcement of the EU’s Benchmarks Regulation (BMR), going live on January 1st 2018.
The BMR is the EU’s response to recent high-profile cases involving the manipulation of indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and contracts. The Regulation raises significant challenges for buy-side firms, many of which can be viewed as both benchmark users and benchmark administrators for the purposes of the new law.
The RIMES BMR Seminar focused on providing advice and information to help buy-side firms ensure compliance with BMR in time for the enforcement deadline, next January. The event, which was attended by 80 executives from as many asset management and servicing firms but also insurance companies, attracted a highly-impressive list of guest speakers from firms such as CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, Deloitte and the Financial Markets Law Committee. Subjects under discussion included the applicability of the BMR to proprietary indices, what BMR’s various internal and external assurance requirements mean for firms, and a review of the changes planned for key financial benchmarks such as SONIA and EURIBOR.
With the development of the EU Benchmarks Regulation more advanced than ever, and with much work having been undertaken by RIMES and other industry stakeholders to clarify interpretations of the many ray areas of the Regulation, this year’s seminar provided a good opportunity to help firms take the practical steps necessary to adapt to the Regulation. What was made clear throughout the event is that the Regulation will greatly affect the vast majority of asset managers, and steps will need to be taken to overhaul the way benchmarks data is managed within these organizations.
RIMES has put together an easy to use BMR Checklist questionnaire for you to understand how you may be affected by the BMR.
Over the course of this article series, we will lay out key findings taken from our Regulatory Seminar; highlighting areas most important to the benchmark data management operations of asset managers. The next article of this series will draw on research and discussions led by Bruno Piers de Raveschoot, COO of RIMES’ Regulatory Division, and will look at exactly who will be affected by the Regulation. If you have yet to understand whether your firm will be subject to BMR this will be critical reading, and an important first step in ensuring your business is prepared fully for the Regulation.