Libor rate body would accept loss of role

The head of the UK’s regulator, Martin Wheatley, is to publish a report into how to reform Libor later this week, reports The BBC.

The British Bankers’ Association said: “If Mr Wheatley’s recommendations include a change of responsibility for Libor, the BBA will support that.”

Barclays was fined for rigging Libor rates over several years, with several other banks also under investigation.

The BBA is in charge of collating the data used to set Libor – a key bank lending rate which became discredited after revelations of manipulation by banks.

The report by Mr Wheatley, the managing director of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), is expected on Friday.

He has already said that the current system is no longer a “viable option” and has proposed pegging the rate to actual market data, rather than subjective submissions from banks, and introducing formal regulation.

The BBA would not comment on reports that leading banks voted at a meeting earlier this month to give up control of Libor.

Mr Wheatley’s review was set up after after Barclays admitted putting in inaccurate submissions, resulting in a record £290m fine in June from US and UK regulators.

The system is currently overseen by the BBA but not formally regulated by the FSA or Bank of England.

UK banks have already put forward proposals to reform the sector after the industry’s reputation was further battered by a summer of scandal, including over Libor, the mis-selling of payment protection insurance, and the mis-selling of specialist insurance – called interest rate swaps – to small businesses.