European Commission welcomes vote on new benchmarking rules

New benchmarking rule set to see further governance and transparency on administration of benchmarks.

The European Commission has backed a vote by the European Parliament on new rules preventing the manipulation of financial benchmarks.

The regulation on benchmarks was approved by a large majority and is set to “improve governance” of benchmarks used in Europe.

Benchmark administrators will be subject to prior authorisation and supervision and there will be greater transparency on how benchmarks are produced.

The Commission proposed the new regulation in September 2013, and the European Council and Parliament reached a political agreement in November 2015.

EU Commissioner, Jonathan Hill said: “Manipulating benchmarks is tantamount to stealing from investors and consumers. So I welcome today’s vote in the European Parliament, which means we now have new rules that will help rebuild confidence in financial markets in the European Union.”

The framework over financial benchmarks has come under intense regulatory scrutiny since the revelation of the LIBOR rate-rigging scandal. Since then, a number of traders involved in the scandal have been banned from financial services for such offences. 

Earlier this month, a former UBS Libor trader disputed the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) decision to ban him from any future role within the industry.. 

The benchmark rules are expected to be implemented in May this year.