April 2021, Miami.
What is SOFR?
In 2014, the Federal Reserve convened the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) and tasked the group with identifying an alternative to U.S. dollar LIBOR that was a robust, IOSCO-compliant, transaction-based rate derived from a deep and liquid market. In 2017, the ARRC fulfilled this mandate by selecting the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, or SOFR. SOFR is based on overnight transactions in the U.S. Dollar Treasury repo market, the largest rates market at a given maturity in the world. National working groups in other jurisdictions have similarly identified overnight nearly risk-free rates (RFRs) like SOFR as their preferred alternatives.
SOFR has a number of characteristics that LIBOR and other similar rates based on wholesale term unsecured funding markets do not, such as:
• Produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the public good.
• Derived from an active and well-defined market with sufficient depth to make it extraordinarily difficult to ever manipulate or influence.
• It is produced in a transparent, direct manner and is based on observable transactions, rather than being dependent on estimates, like LIBOR, or derived through models.
• It is derived from a market that was able to weather the global financial crisis and that the ARRC credibly believes will remain active enough in order that it can reliably be produced in a wide range of market conditions.
What This Means For Your Institution:
Your bank needs to input on a daily basis the published SOFR Rate by the FRB. The calculation of interest starts at value date, but the applicable rate should be consistent with the SOFR rate calculation. The SOFR rate will set up according to the definition of the parameters of “Lookback”, “Lockout” and “Payment Delay” including the interest calculation method “simple” or “compound”. We have modified the Floating Rate Maintenance in order to incorporate a new parameter to setup the SOFR Rate index.
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