Interest rate benchmarks including the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR), the Euro Overnight Index Average (EONIA) and certain other Interbank Offered Rates (IBORs) are being reformed. These reforms are expected to cause at least some of these benchmarks to perform differently to the way they do currently or to disappear. This may impact the HSBC products and services you use and those we provide in the future.
Regulatory authorities and public and private sector working groups in several jurisdictions have been discussing the alternatives to IBORs, but there is still uncertainty over when these alternative rates will be available and how the reforms will impact specific financial products and services.
The content of this page reflects HSBC’s current understanding and does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation. Clients should seek guidance from their professional advisors on the possible implications of the changes including from a financial, legal, accountancy or tax perspective.
This summary provides an overview of the expected changes as at January 2021.
In a wide range of financial products such as derivatives, overdrafts and loans (including mortgages), securitisations and deposits, interest rates can be fixed or alternatively calculated by reference to benchmark rates.
LIBOR, probably the most widely used benchmark, is published in a number of currencies and used in financial products denominated in GBP (British Pound), USD (US Dollar), EUR (Euro), JPY (Japanese Yen) and CHF (Swiss Franc). Certain currencies are also covered by their local benchmark such as EURIBOR and EONIA for EUR, the Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate (TIBOR) for JPY, the Canadian Dollar Offered Rate (CDOR) for Canadian Dollar or Turkish Lira Interbank Offer Rate (TRLIBOR) for Turkish Lira. Other IBORs also exist in other currencies, such as Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate (HIBOR) for Hong Kong Dollar and Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR) for Singapore Dollar.
Financial regulatory authorities have expressed their concern that the interbank lending market, which IBORs are intended to reflect, is no longer sufficiently active or liquid. This concern has resulted in an effort to encourage financial markets to transition away from the use of IBORs to alternative reference rates, e.g. near risk-free rates (RFRs), or change the way that IBORs are currently determined.
The Frequently Asked Questions below attempt to clarify some of the key themes.
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information
We will periodically update this site and/or provide communications relating to the changes. In the meantime, if you require any further information, please contact your usual Relationship Manager.
If you would like more general information on interest rate reform and IBOR transition, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Bank of England, the U.S. Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), the U.S. Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC), the European Central Bank (ECB), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and some of the working groups and industry bodies that are considering these issues have published information which can be found on their websites.