LONDON — Under scrutiny about the accuracy of the benchmark London interbank offered rate, the group that oversees the rate system decided Friday to leave it largely unchanged.
After reviewing the Libor system, the British Bankers’ Association said it would leave intact the 16-bank panel that reports borrowing rates to calculate Libor in dollars. The BBA also said it would step up policing of the panel’s banks to make sure they contribute accurate rates. It gave no further information, saying details of the new policing system would be published “in due course.”
The BBA sped up the annual review after bankers expressed concern that rivals might be understating their true borrowing costs to avoid looking desperate for cash. The association said it would eject any bank that had deliberately misquoted borrowing costs.
The BBA’s decision not to take more radical action disappointed some market participants, who have noted various flaws in Libor, which forms the foundation for payments on trillions of dollars in mortgages, corporate debt and financial contracts world-wide.
“They’ve moved the deck chair an inch to the right on the Queen Elizabeth, when the question in the age of the aeroplane is whether they need ocean liners at all,” said William Porter, a credit strategist at Credit Suisse Group.
Via Wall Street Journal.