Benchmark Regulation (BMR)


Benchmark Regulation (EU) 2016/1011 of the European Parliament and the European Council on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts (the “Regulation”)

Entry into force

1 January 2018

What is the Benchmark Regulation?

The Regulation aims to:

  • Ensure benchmarks produced or used in the EU are robust and reliable 
  • Restore confidence in benchmarks 
  • Protect consumers and investors through greater transparency 
  • Improve governance and controls over the benchmark process

An Index is any figure published or “made available to the public” (i.e. accessible by a potentially indeterminate number of recipients) and regularly determined.

A benchmark is any index by reference to which the amount payable under an instrument/contract, or the value of an instrument, is determined, or an index that is used to measure the performance of an investment fund.      

Benchmark categories  

Benchmark are classified as:

  • Critical benchmarks (e.g. – ibor): Benchmarks used for financial instruments, contracts and performance of investment funds having a total value of at least EURO 500bn, and meeting qualitative criteria such as location of contributors and importance of the benchmark in the country where a majority of contributors is located

  • Significant benchmarks: Benchmarks used for financial instruments, contracts and performance of investment funds having a total value of at least EUR 50bn over a period of six months, and meeting qualitative criteria such as the benchmark has no reliable substitute, and its absence would lead to market disorder

  • Non-significant benchmarks: Benchmarks that do not fulfil the conditions set for critical or significant benchmarks.


BMR introduces obligations for Benchmark Administrators, Benchmark Contributors and Benchmark Users:

1. Benchmark Administrators: Supervised entities which:

  • Administer the arrangements determining the benchmark
  • Collect and analyse the input data
  • Determine the rate of the benchmark
  • Significant benchmarks

2. Benchmark Contributors: Entities providing any input data required in connection with the determination of a benchmark, and provided for that purpose

3. Benchmark Users: Any legal or natural person which:

  • Issue an instrument/contract referencing an index/indices
  • Be a party to a contract referencing an index/indices 
  • Determine an instrument / contract payable amount by referencing an index/indices
  • Provide a borrowing rate calculated as a spread or mark-up over an index/indices used as a  reference in a contract to which the creditor is a party
  • Measure fund performance through an index/indices.