March 5, 2021 marks an important day in the LIBOR transition process as the ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA), UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and ISDA made important announcements on the cessation of LIBOR. In recent years the Bank of England and the FCA have made it clear that the lack of an active underlying market makes LIBOR unsustainable and unsuitable for widespread use. As a result, the Bank of England and FCA have worked closely with market participants and other regulatory authorities to ensure alternatives to LIBOR are available and that existing contracts can be transitioned onto these alternatives to safeguard financial stability and market integrity.

With today’s announcements by the IBA, FCA and ISDA, the timeline for the cessation of LIBOR has been fixed.


Continue Reading Mark the Date: Important Announcements by IBA, FCA and ISDA

ISDA’s IBOR Fallbacks Supplement and Protocol came into effect today. These fallbacks, which are discussed in more detail here, will be incorporated with immediate effect into all new derivatives contracts which incorporate the 2006 ISDA Definitions, and in all legacy non-cleared derivatives where both parties have adhered to ISDA’s IBOR Fallbacks Protocol. To date, over 12,000 parties have adhered to the Protocol, which remains open for adherence for the foreseeable future.

Continue Reading Key Date Reminder: ISDA’s IBOR Fallbacks Goes Live

With the end of LIBOR drawing closer, the FCA, Bank of England and the Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates (the Working Group) are encouraging market participants to actively transition from referencing LIBOR rates in their loan agreements to risk-free rates (such as SONIA). In this respect, one important aspect that market participants need to consider is the credit spread adjustment (CAS) that will be required. Market participants use a CAS to mitigate the risk of value transfer when transitioning to risk-free rates due to the difference between LIBOR rates and the risk-free rates, caused by the lack of a credit risk premium in risk-free rates.

Continue Reading UK Working Group Publishes Paper on Credit Adjustment Spread Methodologies

Following years of consultations, ISDA published its long-awaited IBOR Fallbacks Supplement to the 2006 ISDA Definitions (the Supplement) and Protocol on October 23, 2020. The Supplement and Protocol provide a standardized and efficient means of transitioning derivatives contracts currently referencing IBORs to risk-free rates (more information on which can be found in our earlier blog post).

Market participants are reminded that the Supplement and Protocol will become effective on January 25, 2021 (the Protocol Effective Date). At present over 5,300 parties have adhered to the Protocol.


Continue Reading Key Date Reminder: Go-live of ISDA’s IBOR Fallbacks Supplement and Protocol

The IRS recently released Revenue Procedure 2020-44 (“Rev. Proc. 2020-44”) which provides helpful relief to taxpayers by providing that if a contract referencing an IBOR is modified to incorporate specific ISDA or AARC fallback language for the replacement of IBORs, such modification will not cause certain adverse tax consequences, such as exchange treatment under Section 1001 of the Tax Code, or the legging out or termination of integrated transactions under Treasury Regulation Sections 1.1275-6, 1.988-5(c) or 1.148-4(h).

Continue Reading IRS Revenue Procedure 2020-44: Floating Rate Fallback Flexibility from the Feds

On October 23, 2020, ISDA published its long-awaited IBOR Fallbacks Supplement to the 2006 ISDA Definitions (the Supplement) and Protocol. The publication is a result of years of consultations with regulators and market participants and seeks to provide a solution for the trillions of dollars of IBOR-referencing derivatives contracts.  The Supplement and Protocol provide a standardised and efficient means of transitioning derivatives contracts currently referencing IBORs to risk-free rates.  At present, uptake and market acceptance of these changes has been resounding, as over 700 parties have adhered to the Protocol less than four weeks after its launch.

Continue Reading “Leave the World Behind” ─ ISDA Publishes 2020 IBOR Fallbacks Supplement and Protocol

Following the DOJ’s favourable business review letter published on October 1, 2020 (as discussed in our earlier blog post), on October 9, 2020 ISDA released a statement from its Board of Directors in relation to the IBOR Fallbacks Supplement and Protocol. In it, they state that they have kept the Australian, Canadian, EU and

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division announced that it had completed its review of ISDA’s proposed amendments to its standard documentation to deal with IBOR discontinuation (by way of a Protocol and Supplement). The DOJ concluded that ISDA’s proposals do not harm competition, and so announced that they will not challenge them. A copy of the letter can be found here.

Continue Reading U.S. Department of Justice Issues Favourable Business Review Letter to ISDA’s IBOR Supplement and Protocol

ISDA had intended to publish a supplement to the 2006 ISDA Definitions such that new transactions incorporating them would include fallbacks for LIBOR cessation (the Supplement), and a protocol to facilitate amendments to legacy derivate contracts (the Protocol) (for more information, see our earlier blog post). ISDA initially expected publication of the supplement and protocol to occur in the coming months. However, on September 21, 2020 they published a letter in which the Protocol and Supplement timeline was updated.

Continue Reading ISDA Delays Publication of IBOR Fallbacks, Supplement and Protocol

On August 19, 2020, the ARRC updated its recommended Best Practices for the LIBOR transition in anticipation of the imminent publication of ISDA’s IBOR Fallback Protocol (the “Protocol”) (which we discussed in our earlier blog post, available here).

These updates follow the July 22, 2020 letter from ISDA (the “Letter”) (available here), in