TOKYO, March 14 Japan's banking industry group
said on Thursday it will set up a committee of banks and
specialists to review the setting of Tokyo interbank offered
rate (Tibor) amid global scrutiny into benchmark lending rates
in the wake of a rigging scandal.
"We have not changed our view that Tibor's mechanism has no
particular problem," said Yasuhiro Sato, chairman of the
Japanese Bankers Association at a news conference.
"But given global moves to strengthen the governance of
financial benchmarks, we are studying ways to enhance
credibility and transparency of Tibor," said Sato, who is also
CEO of Mizuho Financial Group, Japan's second-largest
lender by assets.
More than a dozen banks and brokerages are being
investigated by regulators and antitrust watchdogs worldwide for
manipulating benchmark rates such as Libor and Euribor, which
are used to underpin about $550 trillion of financial products
from derivatives to mortgages and credit card loans.
The scandal has raised questions about how these benchmark
rates are set, prompting global reviews. For Tibor, no case of
rate manipulation has been found so far.
The Japanese Bankers Association said it plans to set up a
committee made up of Tibor rate-submitting banks and some
outside specialists in April.
Sato said it is too early to provide details of the scope of
the review, but enhancing governance of rate submitting banks
and the Tibor management entity -the association - is one of the
key areas to be discussed by the committee.
Currently, 16 banks including major Japanese banks and BNP
Paribas are reference banks for Japanese yen Tibor, and 15 banks
including JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank submit rates for euro
yen Tibor, according to the association's website.
(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Sanjev Miglani)