The London Interbank Offered Rate is the average interest rate estimated by leading banks in London that they would be charged if borrowing from other banks. It is usually abbreviated to Libor ( /ˈlaɪbɔr/) or LIBOR, or more officially to BBA Libor (for British Bankers' Association Libor) or the trademark bbalibor. It is the primary benchmark, along with the Euribor, for short term interest rates around the world.
Libor rates are calculated for ten currencies and 15 borrowing periods ranging from overnight to one year and are published daily at 11:30 am (London time) by Thomson Reuters. Many financial institutions, mortgage lenders and credit card agencies set their own rates relative to it. At least $350 trillion in derivatives and other financial products are tied to the Libor.
In June 2012, multiple criminal settlements by Barclays Bank revealed significant fraud and collusion by member banks connected to the rate submissions, leading to the Libor scandal. The British Bankers’ Association said on September 25, 2012 that it would transfer oversight of LIBOR to UK regulators, as proposed by Financial Services Authority Managing Director Martin Wheatley's independent review recommendations. Wheatly's review recommended that banks submitting rates to LIBOR must base them on actual inter-bank deposit market transactions and keep records of those transactions, that individual banks' LIBOR submissions be published after three months, and recommended criminal sanctions specifically for manipulation of benchmark interest rates. Financial institution customers may experience higher and more volatile borrowing and hedging costs after implementation of the recommended reforms. The UK government agreed to accept all of the Wheatly Review's recommendations and press for legislation implementing them.