In June 2015, the FCA published its consultation paper on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) access to regulated benchmarks. The proposals require regulated benchmark administrators to grant access to and licences to use benchmarks on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis, including with regards the price.

The requirements used similar language to the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) Article 37 which will apply to access to benchmarks by central counterparties and trading venues for  the purposes of clearing and trading. 

The FCA has now published a Policy Statement summarising the responses to the consultation paper.  The Policy Statement also sets out the FCA’s comments on the responses and presents the amended Handbook text that will apply to benchmark administrators.

The Handbook provisions come into force on 1 April 2016.

Article 37 MiFIR, referred to above, is expected to come into force in 2019. The EU also intends to introduce a Benchmark Regulation to create a common framework and consistent approach for financial benchmarks. The FCA notes that it may need to review the benchmark rules, once the EU Benchmarks Regulation has been finalised to determine what may need to be replaced or adapted to reflect the requirements in the EU legislation.