Britain's regulators urge firms to accelerate Libor transition

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s financial authorities on Thursday urged banks and insurers to accelerate plans to transition away from the discredited Libor interest rate benchmark.

Financial firms must step up efforts to mothball the rate by the end of 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England said, without specifying what sanctions financial firms might face if they do not.

The regulators reiterated firms must stop issuing loans linked to Libor by the third quarter of this year, and also encouraged market makers to switch the convention for sterling interest rate swaps from Libor to replacement rate Sonia by March 2. (Reporting By Lawrence White, Editing by Sinead Cruise)