Finansinspektionen (FI) is the competent authority under the BMR. This means that FI assesses the applications, registrations and notifications that can or must be submitted according to the regulation. As the competent authority, FI shall also conduct supervision of administrators, contributors and users.
An administrator is a natural or legal person who "has control over the provision of a benchmark" (see Article 3(1)(5)). Administrators must apply for authorisation from or register with FI. The European Securities and Market Authority (ESMA) will maintain a public register of the administrators who have been authorised or registered.
The application form for authorisation and registration as an administrator is published on FI's website. Under certain circumstances, administrators are allowed to continue to provide benchmarks without authorisation or registration during a transitional period. All applications for authorisation and registration from existing administrators must have been submitted to FI no later than 1 January 2020.
A contributor is a natural or legal person who contributes input data for the determination of a benchmark. A contributor who is already subject to FI's supervision must comply with requirements regarding for example governance and control.
For users, the requirement is that a so called supervised entity (a firm under FI's supervision) may use a benchmark provided within the EU if the administrator responsible for the provision is listed in ESMA's public register. In order to use a benchmark provided from a third country, the benchmark must be approved for use within the EU and included in ESMA's register. Users may be, for example, firms that issue financial instruments or prepare certain credit agreements that refer to an index. Users may also include firms that use an index or a combination of indices to measure the performance of investment funds (see Article 3(1)(7)).
Critical benchmarks are benchmarks used for financial instruments or financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds with a value of at least EUR 500 billion. A benchmark can also be critical under other circumstances, for example if it is based on submissions by contributors who to a large extent are located in only one Member State and the competent authority makes the assessment, for example, that it would have a negative impact on the markets' integrity and financial stability if the provision of the benchmark were to cease.
Significant benchmarks are benchmarks used for financial instruments or financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds with a value of at least EUR 50 billion. Or, if there are no or very few market-led substitutes and thus could lead to, for example, a negative impact on the markets' integrity and financial stability if the provision of the benchmark were to cease.
Non-significant benchmarks are benchmarks used for financial instruments or financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds and that do not fulfil the requirements of being a critical benchmark or a significant benchmark and that is not a commodity benchmark or an interest rate benchmark (see descriptions below).
For benchmarks that are not critical, an administrator can decide not to apply some of the provisions in the regulation, for example with regard to governance and conflicts of interest requirements. The exceptions for non-significant benchmarks are more extensive.
Commodity benchmarks are benchmarks where the underlying asset is a commodity in accordance with the definition in a supplemental regulation for MiFID II (Commission Delegated Regulation [EU] 2017/565). Special rules apply to commodity benchmarks, including those specified in Annex II of the BMR (see Article 19).
Regulated-data benchmarks are benchmarks determined on the basis of input data from for example certain trading venues as well as electricity exchanges, natural gas exchanges and auction platforms for emissions rights. Some of the provisions in the BMR shall not apply to regulated-data benchmarks (see Article 17).
Interest rate benchmarks are benchmarks determined on the basis of the interest rates at which banks may lend to or borrow from other banks or other agents in the money market. Special rules apply to interest rate benchmarks, including those specified in Annex I of the BMR (see Article 18).
Please email any questions about the BMR to firstname.lastname@example.org@fi.se.