In the next twelve months, the transition from LIBOR to alternative Risk-free Rates (SOFR in the US) will take an important course. Banks with products tied to LIBOR need to understand the implications of ISDA Fallback Protocol and how to manage possible risks with this critical industry transition. Shortly, ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association) will be publishing LIBOR Fallback Protocol. Firms that sign up for the LIBOR Fallback Protocol agree to the spread adjustment and the fallback rates if LIBOR becomes unavailable in the future.
Today LIBOR is linked to over $250 Trillion (that is with a “T”) in financial instruments and has been used as a reference rate for more than 30 years. However, regulators, for various reasons, are driving a shift to an alternative reference rate. In 2017, ARRC (Alternative Reference Rate Committee) identified the alternative reference rate in the US as SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate). Most community banks use LIBOR sparingly in their loan and deposit contracts. However, if a community bank has even one LIBOR contract, the issue of fallback language becomes essential.
Earlier this month, The Federal Reserve released a framework that would allow the creation of a term SOFR market based on SOFR futures. One of our milestone steps that were required before CenterState switches over to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) was a robust term market and creating a framework was the first step. In this article, we give an update on that SOFR term market, discuss the latest with the BYI Index and provide banks with an updated timetable.
While most community banks do not use LIBOR extensively for their loans and deposits, many community banks have at least a handful of loans or other cash instruments that do reference LIBOR as the benchmark rate. This article outlines what community banks need to know at this stage of the LIBOR transition period.
At last we left off on the story of the Secured Overnight Funding Rate (“SOFR”), SOFR just started trading (HERE). At that time, we discussed the very first rate setting, the rare wonder of seeing a new index created and what bankers need to do to prepare for the possibility of using a new index in their investment and loan process. Now, as of last week, there is a newly created futures market.
Today marks a significant day in banking history as it is one of the few times that the interest rate market has seen the creation of a new index. No doubt you have heard about the theoretical phasing out of the Libor Index after 2021 and the transition to the Secured Overnight Funding Rate (“SOFR”). With approximately $200 trillion in volume, Libor is one of the largest financial indices in the world. In this article, we look at this newly published rate and discuss some ways that banks can best prepare for this potential transition.