The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has charged its Task Force on Benchmarks to address recent concerns over the potential for index manipulation and inaccuracy in the wake of the LIBOR scandal. Following reviews of domestic interbank benchmarks, notably the FSA’s Wheatley Review, the Task Force aims to produce a set of policy guidance and principles for a wide range of benchmark-related activities and their respective stakeholders, here setting the groundwork with a detailed consultation report. IOSCO’s proposed standards are rather broad, covering benchmarks used extensively in financial markets. The report comes at a critical time as market participants begin exploring alternatives such as those recently announced by the Wall Street Journal’s based on repurchase-agreement and commercial-paper data. IOSCO’s work will contribute to the European Commission’s Consultation on the regulation of indices, the BIS Board of Governors Economic Consultative Committee, and the Global Financial Markets Association’s benchmark price assessments.
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