News & Warnings

Euribor panel: withdrawal of National Bank of Greece

News
News article
28/05/2019

National Bank of Greece (NBG) has informed EMMI of its intention to withdraw from the Euribor panel. The FSMA does not object to this decision.

In accordance with the European Benchmark Regulation[1] (BMR), the FSMA is the supervisory authority of the European Money Markets Institute (EMMI), the Brussels-based entity that administers the Euribor benchmark. Euribor was added to the list of critical benchmarks by the European Commission in August 2016[2] and, as a critical benchmark, is supervised by a College of supervisors, including national competent authorities and ESMA, which is chaired by the FSMA (the Euribor College).

Since the end of 2013, EMMI has been working on reforming Euribor in order to underpin it to the greatest extent possible with transaction data and thus make it BMR compliant. When, in May 2017, efforts to implement a fully transaction-based methodology proved unfeasible, EMMI developed a hybrid methodology with the support of a dedicated Task Force in which the FSMA participated as an observer. In October 2018, EMMI published a consultation paper presenting a summary of its findings. The FSMA commended EMMI on the work done to develop and test the hybrid methodology, qualifying the results of the testing as a significant step towards a BMR compliant benchmark.

EMMI applied for authorization in April 2019. An important element towards the implementation of the hybrid methodology is the assurance that panel banks are capable to be operationally ready operationally ready to contribute under the new hybrid methodology.

National Bank of Greece (NBG) officially informed EMMI on 30 April 2019 of its intention to withdraw from the Euribor panel by 28 May 2019[3]. This notification was in line with previous communication from NBG stating its inability to consistently meet the minimum requirements of the new methodology.

EMMI formally notified the FSMA of the intended withdrawal of NBG on 30 April 2019. The FSMA received EMMI’s assessment of the implications of NBG’s withdrawal on the capability of the benchmark to measure the underlying market or economic reality on the same day[4]. EMMI concluded that the withdrawal would not substantially impact the benchmark’s representativeness and robustness.

On 23 May 2019, the FSMA presented the Euribor College with its own assessment of the impact of NBG leaving the panel, based on NBG’s level of actual and potential participation in the market that Euribor intends to measure. The FSMA came to the conclusion that, the leave of NBG would not put the representativity of the hybrid methodology at risk, and that NBG should therefore not be required to continue to contribute data to Euribor. After thorough deliberation, the Euribor College decided to support the FSMA’s conclusions and to advise the FSMA not to require NBG to stay on the Euribor panel.

On 28 May 2019, the FSMA informed EMMI, NBG and its supervisory authority the Hellenic Capital Market Commission of its decision not to make use of its powers under article 23(6) of the BMR to require NBG to continue to contribute input data regarding Euribor.

The FSMA’s decision with regard to NBG is without prejudice to any future decisions to use or refrain from using its powers to require panel banks to continue to contribute input data regarding Euribor. It is motivated by an individual assessment taking into account NBG’s specific level of actual and potential participation in the market that Euribor intends to measure.

The withdrawal of NBG from the Euribor Panel does not impact the transition to the hybrid methodology being implemented by EMMI. The FSMA, together with the Euribor College remain committed to work closely with EMMI, and all other stakeholders, to ensure a smooth transition to the hybrid methodology, which will improve the robustness, integrity and accuracy of Euribor.


[1]  Regulation (EU) 2016/1011 of 8 June 2016.

[2]  Full list of critical benchmarks in the EU available here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32018R1557.

[3]  In accordance with article 23(3) of the BMR.

[4]  In accordance with article 23(4) of the BMR.