Life after Libor: A new era of reference interest rates

March 31, 2022
Virtual Money Market Event, webcast


A new era of reference interest rates began at the start of this year. Libor, which had been the key reference rate for several decades and several currencies, including the Swiss franc, ceased to exist in many currencies at the end of 2021. SARON has now fully replaced Swiss franc Libor.

This speech explains why reference rates play a central role in financial markets and discusses the circumstances under which some interest rates either achieve or lose reference rate status. Following the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 to 2009, Libor increasingly failed to satisfy two important criteria for reference rates - reliability and robustness - and had to be replaced by alternative reference rates. Given the huge importance of reference rates, intensive work was required to replace Libor.

The switch from Libor to new reference rates entailed far more than just swapping out one rate for another. Market practices had to adjust because the new reference rates differ in important respects from Libor. The speech examines the most important properties of the new reference rates and how they differ from Libor.

Reference rates are also critically important for the transmission of monetary policy. The speech therefore also discusses the adjustment the SNB made to its monetary policy strategy in response to the transition to SARON and the implications for monetary policy implementation.

Download file now

The file can be downloaded with the button below.

Additional files

Related content


  • Andréa M. Maechler
    Member of the Governing Board

  • Thomas Moser
    Alternate Member of the Governing Board

Your settings

Required: These cookies (e.g. for storing your IP address) cannot be rejected as they are necessary to ensure the operation of the website. These data are not evaluated further.
Analytics: If you consent to this category, data such as IP address, location, device information, browser version and site visitor behaviour will be collected. These data are evaluated for the SNB's internal purposes and are kept for two years.
Third-party: If you consent to this category, third-party services (used, for example, to add social multimedia content to the SNB's website) will be activated which collect personal data, process these data, disclose them abroad - worldwide - and place cookies. The relevant data protection regulations are linked in the 'Privacy statement for the website of the Swiss National Bank'.

Choose your preferred settings:

This website uses cookies, analytics tools and other technologies to provide requested features, content and services, to personalise the content shown, to provide links to social media, and to analyse the use of the website in anonymised form for the purposes of improving usability. Personal data are also disclosed abroad - worldwide - to video service providers and the analytics tools of these providers are used. More information is available under 'Manage settings'.