Federal Reserve Board adopts final rule that implements Adjustable Interest Rate (LIBOR) Act by identifying benchmark rates based on SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate) that will replace LIBOR in certain financial contracts after June 30, 2023.
The Federal Reserve Board on Friday adopted a final rule that implements the Adjustable Interest Rate (LIBOR) Act by identifying benchmark rates based on SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate) that will replace LIBOR in certain financial contracts after June 30, 2023. The final rule is substantially similar to the proposal with certain clarifying changes made in response to comments.
LIBOR, formerly known as the London Interbank Offered Rate, was the dominant benchmark rate used in financial contracts for decades. However, it was fragile and subject to manipulation, and U.S. dollar LIBOR panels will end after June 30, 2023.
Congress enacted the LIBOR Act to provide a uniform, nationwide solution for so-called tough legacy contracts that do not have clear and practicable provisions for replacing LIBOR after June 30, 2023. As required by the law, the final rule identifies replacement benchmark rates based on SOFR to replace overnight, one-month, three-month, six-month, and 12-month LIBOR in contracts subject to the Act. These contracts include U.S. contracts that do not mature before LIBOR ends and that lack adequate “fallback” provisions that would replace LIBOR with a practicable replacement benchmark rate.
In response to comments, the final rule restates safe harbor protections contained in the LIBOR Act for selection or use of the replacement benchmark rate selected by the Board, and clarifies who would be considered a “determining person” able to choose to use the replacement benchmark rate selected by the Board for use for certain LIBOR contracts. Consistent with the LIBOR Act, the final rule also ensures that LIBOR contracts adopting a benchmark rate selected by the Board will not be interrupted or terminated following LIBOR’s replacement.
The final rule will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.