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Reform of reference interest rates

The National Working Group on Swiss Franc Reference Rates (NWG) is the key forum for considering proposals to reform reference interest rates in Switzerland and discussing the latest international developments. The NWG is co-chaired by a representative of the private sector and a representative of the SNB. The group is open to representatives of domestic and foreign banks and specialists from other sectors. Institutions not yet represented in the NWG are welcome to join. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is invited as an observer. Since spring 2016, the NWG has been working on replacing the TOIS fixing with SARON. The former was discontinued at the end of 2017. At the meeting on 5 October 2017, the working group recommended SARON as the alternative to the Swiss franc Libor.

National working group governance

The SNB supports the efforts to reform benchmark interest rates being undertaken at national and international level. At national level, this includes co-chairing the NWG alongside a representative from the private sector. NWG recommendations are not legally binding. Decisions on recommendations are passed with a simple majority of the votes cast at the meetings. As the private sector is responsible for providing reference interest rates, the SNB abstains from voting and acts primarily as a moderator. Furthermore, the SNB runs the NWG’s technical secretariat and facilitates the organisation of the meetings. In this capacity, the SNB also provides this section on its webpage for publishing NWG minutes as well as other material on the progress of the reforms. The items published do not necessarily reflect the views of the SNB.

Confidentiality

Any information disclosed or opinions expressed during meetings of the NWG and its sub-groups will be treated as confidential unless and until their public release has been authorised by its chair. Members of the NWG and its sub-groups may be exposed to sensitive information and, potentially, to material nonpublic information in the course of their work. It is understood that members’ staff may receive information relating to the various groups based on a ‘need-to-know’ principle. However, unnecessary involvement of third parties in handling this material is strongly discouraged. In all cases where third parties are given access to related information, individual members are expected to accept responsibility for ensuring that those third parties are aware of and respect the confidentiality and sensitivity which attaches to the various groups and the documents in question.

Competition Law

Members of the NWG and its sub-groups are obliged to ensure they understand their responsibilities under all applicable competition laws, including Swiss competition law. To the extent that any member is unclear about these responsibilities, they should consult the legal and/or compliance teams at their respective institution for further guidance. If, during a meeting, a member has concerns about the discussion from a competition law compliance perspective, they should make their concerns known and the discussion giving rise to such concerns should cease.

Minutes

10.10.2016   Minutes - 13th Meeting of the Working Group, 24 May 2016
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17.11.2016   Minutes - 14th Meeting of the Working Group, 27 October 2016
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22.02.2017   Minutes - 15th Meeting of the Working Group, 26 January 2017
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08.06.2017   Minutes - 16th Meeting of the Working Group, 15 May 2017
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24.10.2017   Minutes - 17th Meeting of the Working Group, 5 October 2017
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26.01.2018   Minutes - 18th Meeting of the Working Group, 11 January 2018
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Further information

10.10.2016   Summary of reform efforts until 2016
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22.02.2017   Draft-template for a SARON Swap confirmation
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24.10.2017   Guidance on TOIS transition
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26.01.2018   Terms of Reference - Derivatives and Capital Market Sub-Group
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26.01.2018   Terms of Reference - Loan and Deposit Market Sub-Group
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