26 November 2020
On 27 October 2020, the Steering Committee for SOR Transition to SORA (“SC-STS” or “Committee”) announced industry timelines to support a coordinated transition away from the use of the SGD Swap Offer Rate (“SOR”) in financial products, and to concurrently accelerate usage of the Singapore Overnight Rate Average (“SORA”). The Committee also released market guidance to help users prepare for the transition to SORA.
SOR is set to be discontinued alongside LIBOR discontinuation after end-2021, and SORA had been identified previously as the replacement benchmark in SGD funding markets. The key timelines are set out below:
- By end-April 2021, all lenders and borrowers are to cease issuance of
SOR-linked loans and securities that mature after end-2021;
- To support this, all Domestic Systemically Important Banks (“D-SIBs”) should be ready to offer a full-suite of SORA-based products to their customers by end-February 2021, and all non-DSIB banks should be ready to offer new SORA-based products by end-April 2021;
- By end-September 2021, all banks are to have substantially reduced gross exposures to SOR derivatives, including centrally cleared interbank transactions.
These timelines seek to steadily reduce exposures to SOR well before end-2021, in preparation for USD LIBOR and SOR discontinuation, while ensuring that SORA-based products are available to meet the financing needs of customers. After end-April 2021, SORA is expected to be the de facto floating rate benchmark for all institutional SGD financing activity. The timelines mirror guidance by the Financial Stability Board and national working groups in other key jurisdictions globally for the transition away from LIBOR.
To support the industry-wide transition to SORA, the Committee has published market guides to help users prepare for the shift away from SOR, and for adoption of SORA across a range of financial products (derivatives, floating rate notes, business and retail loans):
- Overview on the Usage of SORA in Loans: Customer Segments and Preferences
- SORA Market Compendium: Transition from SOR to SORA
- SC-STS End-User Checklist on Benchmark Transition
The following materials are available on the website of the Association of Banks in Singapore www.abs.org.sg:
- Media release: Industry Steering Committee Announces Timelines to Cease Issuance of SOR-linked Financial Products, and Publishes Market Guidance to Support Transition to SORA
- Timelines to cease issuance of SGD Swap Offer Rate (SOR) Linked Financial Products
Allen & Gledhill Regulatory & Compliance
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