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RBNZ: Interest rate benchmark reform
- The Reserve Bank of New Zealand supports the selection of the Official Cash
Rate (OCR) as New Zealand's fall-back benchmark interest rate. "Global interest
rate benchmarks, such as LIBOR, play a substantial role in the valuation of
financial derivatives and contracts," Assistant Governor/GM Economics, Financial
Markets and Banking Christian Hawkesby says. "Reforms are underway
internationally to improve the integrity of these benchmarks, following
manipulation by several financial institutions overseas." While New Zealand's
benchmark interest rate (BKBM) has not faced these issues, the New Zealand
Financial Markets Association (NZFMA) has made a number of changes to further
improve the benchmark's reliability and robustness in line with developments in
global best practice. As a part of these improvements the NZFMA, in conjunction
with consultation from industry representatives, has selected the OCR to act as
the risk-free fall-back benchmark interest rate for BKBM. This conclusion is
supported by the Reserve Bank, Mr Hawkesby says.