What does the 5 March 2021 announcement by the UK Financial Conduct Authority on the future cessation or loss of representativeness of all 35 LIBOR benchmarks mean for the over 13,500 adherents to the ISDA 2020 IBOR Fallbacks Protocol and its fallbacks supplement? What does it mean for the counterparties using bilateral amendment agreements
On September 23, 2020, Scott O’Malia, CEO of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (“ISDA”), stated that ISDA is now on the cusp of publishing the IBOR Fallbacks Protocol (the “Protocol”) and the IBOR Fallbacks Supplement (the “Supplement”), and provided an updated timetable of the remaining steps to publication and effectiveness.
The Protocol and Supplement are being published to address the anticipated cessation of publication of LIBOR at the end of 2021, and the market transition to risk-free rates, including SONIA, SOFR, €STR, SARON and TONAR. The Protocol will enable market participants that elect to adhere to incorporate fallback language into legacy derivatives contracts with other adhering counterparties in order to transition to replacement benchmarks. The Supplement will ensure that any new derivatives contracts entered into after its effective date that incorporate the 2006 ISDA Definitions and reference a covered IBOR rate will automatically include new fallbacks without any further action by the parties.