On July 29, 2015, the FCA published the results of its thematic review into the oversight and control of financial benchmark activities. The review assessed the extent to which firms had responded to concerns and issues highlighted in recent benchmark enforcement cases, whether firms had implemented appropriate oversight and controls to manage the risks involved in their benchmark activities and the understanding within firms of the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks. The review found that all of the 12 banks and broking firms involved in the review had taken steps to change their approach to benchmark activities but that work was still required by all the firms and includes six key messages for firms involved in benchmark activities, which are: (i) firms need to ensure that they identify all of the activities which constitute benchmark activity or could affect a benchmark; (ii) senior management in firms need to act quickly to implement improvement plans; (iii) firms need to strengthen their governance and oversight of benchmark activities; (iv) further work is required on identifying and managing conflicts of interest; (v) robust controls need to be established for in-house benchmarks; and (vi) firms exiting benchmark activities need to give due consideration to the wider impact of their actions. The report sets out good and bad practices that were observed at the firms assessed by the FCA. The FCA expects those firms that were provided feedback during the review to act to make the necessary improvements and for all firms and users of benchmarks to consider the key messages and results of the review.
The report is available at: http://www.fca.org.uk/static/documents/thematic-reviews/tr15-11.pdf.