10 Jul 2013

NYSE to take over key interest rate

2:05 pm on 10 July 2013

The United States owner of the New York Stock Exchange will take over the running of the benchmark interest rate, LIBOR, which has been at the centre of a global rate rigging scandal.

The inter-bank lending rate is an important cog in the world's financial system because it sets benchmarks for $US550 trillion worth of contracts, from complex derivatives to credit card bills.

However, LIBOR's credibility was destroyed by revelations that traders had routinely manipulated rates to their own advantage.

The New York Stock Exchange will pay just $US1.50 to wrest control from the London-based British Bankers Association.

A LIBOR expert from financial information company Super Derivatives, Robert Emerson, says the move makes a lot of sense and is about trying to restore credibility and confidence to the system.

He says it is absolutely necessary to start any kind of global economic recovery.

"We will not have recovery without confidence in the banking system," he says.

Mr Emerson says LIBOR is probably the most important set of interest rates in the world.