Andrew Hauser: Bowing out gracefully - LIBOR's retirement draws near

Speech by Mr Andrew Hauser, Executive Director for Markets of the Bank of England, at the Risk.net LIBOR telethon, 8 December 2020.

Central bank speech  | 
17 December 2020

Introduction

I want to start by thanking Risk.net for organising a really fantastic event today. As a child of the 1970s and 80s, I have to confess the word 'telethon' conjures up slightly uncomfortable images of Dick Emery, Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart and the Krankies. But it's really worked a treat today – even if Terry Wogan's strange Blankety Blank microphone is inexplicably absent-

Telethons are usually about raising money for good causes – but LIBOR is the exact opposite. A number whose apprenticeship began in the syndicated loan markets of the late 1960s, and worked its way up into every part of the financial system in the decades that followed, is now well and truly in need of retirement. The unsecured term interbank lending markets it seeks to measure barely trade, even in calm conditions. And when things get rocky, they don't trade at all – as we saw in March. 

A rate like that simply can't provide a robust backbone for the global financial system.