The integrity of benchmarks is critical to the pricing of many financial instruments, such as interest rate swaps, and commercial and non-commercial contracts, such as loans and mortgages, and risk management. Any risk of manipulation of benchmarks may undermine market confidence, cause significant losses to investors and distort the real economy.
The changes proposed by the Commission to its market abuse and criminal sanctions proposals alone will not improve the way benchmarks are produced and used. EU regulation is necessary to improve the functioning and governance of benchmarks and to ensure that benchmarks produced and used in the EU are robust, reliable representative and fit for purpose and that they are not subject to manipulation.
To this end, the Commission has adopted a proposal for a Regulation on indices used as benchmark in financial instruments and financial contracts: