25 February 2020 – The FICC Markets Standards Board (FMSB) has today issued its 2019 Annual Report setting out the progress made to enhance standards of behaviour in the wholesale fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) markets and its priorities for the year ahead.
FMSB is a private sector, practitioner-led organisation whose membership collectively accounts for a substantial share of the business conducted in wholesale FICC markets worldwide.
The Annual Report gives an overview of the work undertaken by FMSB during 2019 in pursuit of the four strategic goals set out in the Fair and Effective Markets Review, which was conducted jointly by HM Treasury, Bank of England, and Financial Conduct Authority:
- Identifying global market vulnerabilities through scanning the horizon for emerging business practice risks
- Developing best market practice through the production of standards and other materials that create a common understanding
- Driving global adherence through ensuring standards are comprehensible and practical
- Developing consistent approaches to market practices through identifying gaps and inconsistencies in existing regulatory standards and working with other standards setting bodies
Alongside the five Standards and ten Statements of Good Practice already published, FMSB has a significant amount of work in progress and planned for the year ahead to support its strategic goals, including:
- Developing and publishing further Standards, Statements of Good Practice and Spotlight Reviews
- Looking at the impact of FMSB Standards to understand how business practices are changing in response
- Finalising a series of publications on the role of data in ensuring fair and effective FICC markets
- Exploring IBOR benchmark reform and the remaining risks and issues that could arise as the industry transfers to alternative risk-free rates
- Looking at the commodities markets in metals and energy through the recently established working groups in these areas
- Assessing the viability of creating a series FICC market practice training programmes that could be recognised across institutions and locations
Mark Yallop, Chair of FMSB said:
“FMSB has achieved a great deal since it was created, and in 2019 we made significant progress against our central objective of raising standards of conduct in global wholesale FICC markets so that they are more transparent, fair and effective for all participants. We now have 15 published Standards or Statements of Good Practice, with more in the pipeline.
“We are continuing to scan the horizon for new vulnerabilities, recognising that markets are evolving constantly and we see new challenges today that didn’t exist when FMSB was created, including the opportunities and potential hazards afforded by new technology, in particular the growth of machine learning and data science.
“We have a significant amount of activity planned for 2020, including our focus on assessing the potential risks that could arise with the replacement of IBOR with other near risk-free rates. This is a clear example of FMSB’s important role in global markets.
“As a network organisation, we rely on expert market practitioners from across member firms. They commit their time, dedication, and insight to the FMSB, and I would like to thank all our members and their people for the strong commitment and support we receive.”
FMSB continues to receive strong support from UK and international central banks and regulatory bodies. Alongside others, Mark Carney, Andrew Bailey and Ashley Alder expressed their support for the work of FMSB in the Annual Report.
- Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, said: “A new economy is emerging, driven by immense changes in technology, the reordering of global economic power, and the growing pressures of climate change. This transition needs markets that are effective and fair and that balance innovation and resilience. I support the FMSB’s work to achieve that goal. The private sector is responsible for supporting competition in FICC markets and managing conduct risks. By developing standards on transparency and fairness, the FMSB promotes the new finance needed for the new economy.”
- Andrew Bailey, CEO of the Financial Conduct Authority, said: “The FCA always and only regulates in the public interest. We place the strongest emphasis on outcomes and principles, and understand that rules alone cannot deliver these particularly in wholesale markets that are global in nature. The FCA sees the FMSB’s role as a practitioner-led standards setter as an important supplement to the regulatory framework to improve business practices and rebuild trust in the financial system. The FCA supports the FMSB’s ambitious workplan to deliver more transparent, fair and effective global wholesale markets.”
- Ashley Alder, Chair of IOSCO Board said: “Eight years have now passed since multiple conduct failures in wholesale finance first came to light, resulting in unprecedented fines and other sanctions. In response, FMSB has been unrelenting in harnessing the deep expertise of its participants to develop a series of detailed, actionable industry standards aimed at restoring confidence and trust in FICC markets. IOSCO commends and supports this important work.”
The full annual report is available to view at fmsb.com.
Andy Donald or Sam Turvey
+44 207 379 5151
Notes to Editors
1) The Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities (‘FICC’) Markets Standards Board (‘FMSB’) is practitioner led, funded by members and operated by the major participants in wholesale markets to improve standards of conduct in wholesale FICC markets. It aims to bring transparency to grey areas in the wholesale FICC markets by identifying emerging vulnerabilities, clarifying and documenting practice and agreeing standards to improve conduct and market behaviour. Ensuring that wholesale FICC markets are transparent, fair and effective for all participants is at the heart of FMSB’s mission.
FMSB Standards set out Core Principles and accompanying guidance on the most important aspects of practice where ambiguity risks undermining the transparency, fairness and effectiveness of markets.
FMSB Statements of Good Practice set out clear expectations and guidance on good practice in relation to broader areas of uncertainty in wholesale FICC markets.
FMSB Spotlight Reviews encompass a broad range of publications used by FMSB to illuminate important emerging issues. Drawing on the insight of multiple members and industry experts, they provide a way for FMSB to surface nascent challenges and address potential topics for future work, either in setting standards or establishing good practice.
All FMSB publications are available on the FMSB website at fmsb.com/our-publications/.
2) Setting up the FMSB was one of the main recommendations from the Fair and Effective Markets Review, which was conducted by HM Treasury, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority. All materials relating to the Effective Markets Review are available on the Bank of England’s website at: www.bankofengland.co.uk/markets/fair-and-effective-markets
3) FMSB has a Standards Board drawn from senior executives from across wholesale markets, from corporate clients, asset managers, sell-side participants and intermediaries and infrastructure providers such as exchanges and custodians.
4) FMSB members bring together sell side investment banks, buy-side asset managers, market infrastructure providers and exchanges, custodians and users of the market such as corporates. This constitution is unique. The member firms are listed and available on the FMSB website at fmsb.com/who-we-are/:
- Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
- BAE Systems
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch
- Bank of New York Mellon
- BNP Paribas
- Citadel Securities
- Citigroup Global Markets Limited
- Crédit Agricole CIB
- Credit Suisse
- Deutsche Bank
- Euronext FX Inc.
- Goldman Sachs
- JP Morgan
- Legal & General Investment Management
- Linklaters (Legal Advisor)
- Lloyds Banking Group
- London Stock Exchange Group
- M&G Investment Management Limited
- Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc
- National Australia Bank
- Rio Tinto
- Royal Bank of Canada
- Royal Dutch Shell
- Royal Mail Group
- Société Générale
- Standard Chartered
- Standard Life Aberdeen
- TP ICAP
- XTX Markets