EU benchmark rules open to regulatory arbitrage, say rate-setters

In a discussion paper on the EU’s forthcoming benchmark rules, Esma has failed to clarify the condition that an index underlying a regulated benchmark be “available to the public” – leaving industry participants guessing where the rules will fall

europe benchmarks
Esma criticised for lack of clarity in definition of "publicly available"

Market participants hoping for clarity on which indexes will be caught by the EU's sweeping reforms of benchmarks will have to wait a bit longer. Initial guidance issued by Europe's securities regulator on February 15 left a key condition in defining the scope of the regulation – that of an index's public availability – as yet undetermined.

The scope of the looming European regulation on financial benchmarks turns on the definition of what constitutes an index. One component of this definition

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