The Financial Services Authority, the top regulator of the banking industry in Britain, announced its changes to how the Libor, the benchmark interest rate which undergirds hundreds of trillions of dollars in financial products, will be derived. As expected, the British government will take responsibility for setting the Libor away from the British Bankers’ Association. They did not name a replacement for the BBA, but said they would appoint one sometime in the next year. Data providers like Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters have already shown interest in taking over.
More interesting, Martin Wheatley, the head of the FSA, said that he wants to make Libor rigging a criminal offense, to provide more of a deterrent.