Written on: 30 June 2016

London, 30 June 2016. The FICC Markets Standards Board (“FMSB”) has today published its first standard aimed at improving conduct in the wholesale Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities (“FICC”) markets.

The standard, which is being issued in draft form for comment, covers reference price transactions in the fixed income rates markets. [Click here for standard]

Fixed Income reference price transactions, involve agreeing all aspects of a transaction except price which is set later based on a pre-agreed reference price.

Elizabeth Corley, Interim Chair of the FMSB, said:
“The new standard is intended to give clear guidance to traders and market practitioners about what is acceptable conduct in the context of these types of transaction and create greater clarity about what good market practice looks like, and what types of practice should be avoided.”

The FMSB is issuing the standard in draft form to provide an opportunity for public comment ahead of final ratification and issuance.

Publication of the draft standard coincides with the first anniversary of the FMSB [Click here for letter to FEMR Principals], which was set up by market practitioners following the Fair and Effective Markets Review (“FEMR”) to improve conduct in the wholesale FICC markets. It does this by defining standards of good practice in contentious or grey areas of the markets.

The FMSB Market Practices Sub-Committees are currently working on standards in a range of other areas such as commodity binary options and the new issue process in fixed income markets.

The FMSB’s Conduct & Ethics Sub-Committee is also doing work to assess formal wholesale FICC markets training programmes undertaken by member firms as well as facilitated workshops with surveillance representatives from FMSB member firms, focusing on the trade lifecycle in Foreign Exchange.  The intention is to complete papers summarising good practice in both these areas by the year end.

The Codes & Standards Convergence Sub-Committee has met with authorities in a number of other countries to discuss international convergence of standards.

The FMSB has 36 members reflecting the diversity of participants in the wholesale FICC markets. They include international users of the markets such as corporates, asset owners and asset managers, market infrastructure providers such as exchanges, custodians, and investment banks.

Elizabeth Corley said:
“The FMSB has benefited from a strong and continuous level of engagement from members of Standards Board and Advisory Council, drawn from senior practitioners and experienced independents. We look forward to continuing to engage with both members and other stakeholders on our forward agenda.”

The FMSB is seeking comment from interested parties on the new standard over the summer. Submissions should be sent to standards@fmsb.com by midday (12:00pm BST), Thursday 8th September, 2016. A final version of the standard will be published by the FMSB after evaluating public comments.

The FMSB’s second standard will be issued in draft form in the coming weeks and covers Binary options in the commodities markets.

– ENDS –


Media enquiries:
Meritus Consultants Peter Wilson-Smith +44 (0)20 7043 4604 or +44 (0)7979 526152 pws@meritusconsultants.com

Sehr Sarwar +44 (0)20 7043 4606 or +44 (0)7966 963 669 ssarwar@meritusconsultants.com


Notes to Editors: 

  • The Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities or FICC Markets Standards Board (“FMSB”) is an independent body set up by market practitioners in 2015 to improve standards of conduct in wholesale FICC markets. It aims to bring transparency to grey areas in the wholesale FICC markets by documenting existing practice and agreeing standards to improve conduct and market behaviour. Ensuring that wholesale FICC markets are transparent, fair and effective is at the heart of the FMSB’s mission.
  • Setting up the FMSB was one of the main recommendations to emerge from the Fair and Effective Markets Review (“FEMR”), which was conducted by HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority and reported in June 2015. The FEMR was launched in June 2014 to reinforce confidence in wholesale Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities markets in the wake of the serious misconduct seen in recent years.
  • Elizabeth Corley CBE, Vice Chair, Allianz Global Investors, has been Interim Chair of the FMSB since July 2015. She will be succeeded as Chair in July 2016 by Mark Yallop but will remain on the Standards Board. Corley was previously Chief Executive of Allianz Global Investors and before that worked at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and Coopers & Lybrand. She is a non-executive director of Pearson and BAe Systems, on the board of the Financial Reporting Council and an Advisory Council member of TheCityUK.
  • Mark Yallop, who takes over as Chair of the FMSB in July 2016, has been an External Member of the Board of the Prudential Regulation Authority since December 2014, following a long career in wholesale financial markets. HHHe was UK Chief Executive Officer for UBS, overseeing investment banking, wealth and asset management. Before that he spent six years as Chief Operating Officer of ICAP plc and held senior positions at Deutsche Bank, including Chief Operating Officer for Deutsche Bank Group. He has served on the board of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and is currently on the Board of the Centre for Social Justice and of the Create the Change Development Board for the Francis Crick Institute.
  • The FMSB has a high-level Standards Board drawn from senior executives from across wholesale markets, from corporate clients, other market users such as asset managers and asset owners, and infrastructure providers such as exchanges and custodians. Reporting to the Standards Board are three standing sub-committees addressing Market Practices, Codes & Standards Convergence and Conduct & Ethics. The Market Practices sub-committees are split into 4 asset-class specific committees.  There is also an Advisory Council representing the interests of member firms. A full list of individuals can be found in 7) and 8) below.
  • The FMSB’s 36 members and 5 standing guests bring together sellside investment banks, buyside asset managers, exchanges, custodians and users of the market such as corporates. They are:

Member Firms:
Aberdeen Asset Management; Allianz Global Investors; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Bank of New York Mellon; Barclays; BlackRock; Bloomberg; BNP Paribas; Citi; CQS; Crédit Agricole CIB; Credit Suisse; Deutsche Bank; Deutsche Börse Group; Goldman Sachs; HSBC; ICAP; J.P. Morgan; Legal & General Investment Management; Linklaters (Legal Advisor); Lloyds Banking Group; London Stock Exchange Group; M&G Investments; Morgan Stanley; Nomura; PGGM; RBS; Royal Dutch Shell; Scotiabank; Société Générale; Standard Chartered; Standard Life Investments; State Street; Thomson Reuters; Tradeweb; UBS.

Standing Guests:
Association of Corporate Treasurers; Banking Standards Board; Hedge Fund Standards Board; KPMG; Oliver Wyman.

A full list of Advisory Council representatives and Standards Board members, can be found here: 16-07 FMSB Member List

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