EU watchdogs see good progress on reforming Euribor rates

LONDON Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:30am EST

LONDON Feb 20 (Reuters) - The European Banking Federation has made substantial progress in changing how the Euribor interest rate benchmark is compiled after several lenders were fined for rigging it, two European Union regulators said on Thursday.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) published guidelines a year ago in a bid to restore public confidence in Euribor and its British counterpart, Libor or London Interbank Offered Rate.

ESMA and EBA said in a statement that the EBF has applied four of their recommendations in full, with a further six partially implemented.

"Euribor-EBF is on the right path," EBA Chairman Andrea Enria said.

"Its progress in terms of governance and conduct reflects a strong commitment to ensuring the quality of its benchmarks. I remain confident that the Euribor-EBF will soon complete its work, building on the continued support and commitment of panel banks," Enria said.

ESMA Chairman Steven Maijoor said Euribor should also be ready to respond to advances in international cooperation on reforming interbank benchmarks.

The guidelines from the watchdogs are an interim fix pending a new European Union law to regulate major benchmarks.

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