Commodity Benchmarks

 

Assessors

In relation to the role of an assessor, the administrator of a commodity benchmark shall:

(a) adopt and have in place explicit internal rules and guidelines for selecting assessors, including their minimum level of training, experience and skills, as well as the process for periodic review of their competence;

(b) have in place arrangements to ensure that calculations can be made on a consistent and regular basis;

(c) maintain continuity and succession planning in respect of its assessors in order to ensure that calculations are made consistently and by employees who possess the relevant levels of expertise; and

(d) establish internal control procedures to ensure the integrity and reliability of calculations. At a minimum, such internal controls and procedures shall require the ongoing supervision of assessors to ensure that the methodology was properly applied and procedures for internal sign-off by a supervisor prior to releasing prices for dissemination to the market.

 

Audit Trails

10. The administrator of a commodity benchmark shall have rules and procedures in place to document contemporaneously relevant information, including:

(a) all input data;

(b) the judgements that are made by assessors in reaching each benchmark calculation;

(c) whether a calculation excluded a particular transaction which otherwise conformed to the requirements of the relevant methodology for that calculation, and the rationale for doing so;

(d) the identity of each assessor and of any other person who submitted or otherwise generated any of the information in points (a), (b) or (c).

11. The administrator of a commodity benchmark shall have rules and procedures in place to ensure that an audit trail of relevant information is retained for at least five years in order to document the construction of its calculations.

 

Conflicts of Interest

12. The administrator of a commodity benchmark shall establish adequate policies and procedures for the identification, disclosure, management or mitigation and avoidance of any conflict of interest and the protection of integrity and independence of calculations. Those policies and procedures shall be reviewed and updated regularly and shall:

(a) ensure that benchmark calculations are not influenced by the existence of, or potential for, a commercial or personal business relationship or interest between the administrator or its affiliates, its personnel, clients, any market participant or persons connected with them;

(b) ensure that personal interests and business connections of the administrator's personnel are not permitted to compromise the administrator's functions, including outside employment, travel, and acceptance of entertainment, gifts and hospitality provided by the administrator's clients or other commodity market participants;

(c) ensure, in respect of identified conflicts, appropriate segregation of functions within the administrator by way of supervision, compensation, systems access and information flows;

(d) protect the confidentiality of information submitted to or produced by the administrator, subject to the disclosure obligations of the administrator;

(e) prohibit managers, assessors and other employees of the administrator from contributing to a benchmark calculation by way of engaging in bids, offers and trades on either a personal basis or on behalf of market participants; and

(f) effectively address any identified conflict of interest which may exist between the administrator's provision of a benchmark (including all employees who perform or otherwise participate in benchmark calculation responsibilities), and any other business of the administrator.

13. The administrator of a commodity benchmark shall ensure that its other business operations have in place appropriate procedures and mechanisms designed to minimise the likelihood that a conflict of interest will affect the integrity of benchmark calculations.

14. The administrator of a commodity benchmark shall ensure that it has in place segregated reporting lines amongst its managers, assessors and other employees and from the managers to the administrator's most senior level management and its board to ensure:

(a) that the administrator satisfactorily implements the requirements of this Regulation; and

(b) that responsibilities are clearly defined and do not conflict or cause a perception of conflict.

15. The administrator of a commodity benchmark shall disclose to its users as soon as it becomes aware of a conflict of interest arising from the ownership of the administrator.

 

Complaints

16. The administrator of a commodity benchmark shall have in place and publish a complaints handling policy setting out procedures for receiving, investigating and retaining records concerning complaints made about an administrator's calculation process. Such complaint mechanisms shall ensure that:

(a) subscribers of the benchmark may submit complaints on whether a specific benchmark calculation is representative of market value, proposed benchmark calculation changes, applications of methodology in relation to a specific benchmark calculation and other editorial decisions in relation to the benchmark calculation processes;

(b) there is in place a target timetable for the handling of complaints;

(c) formal complaints made against the administrator and its personnel are investigated by that administrator in a timely and fair manner;

(d) the inquiry is conducted independently of any personnel who may be involved in the subject of the complaint;

(e) the administrator aims to complete its investigation promptly;

(f) the administrator advises the complainant and any other relevant parties of the outcome of the investigation in writing and within a reasonable period;

(g) there is recourse to an independent third party appointed by the administrator. if a complainant is dissatisfied with the way a complaint has been handled by the relevant administrator or the administrator's decision in the situation no later than six months from the time of the original complaint; and

(h) all documents relating to a complaint, including those submitted by the complainant as well as an administrator's own record, are retained for a minimum of five years.

17. Disputes as to daily pricing determinations, which are not formal complaints, shall be resolved by the administrator of a commodity benchmark with reference to its appropriate standard procedures. If a complaint results in a change in price, the details of that change in price shall be communicated to the market as soon as possible.

 

External Auditing

18.

The administrator of a commodity benchmark shall appoint an independent external auditor with appropriate experience and capability to review and report on the administrator's adherence to its stated methodology criteria and with the requirements of this Regulation. Audits shall take place annually and be published three months after each audit is completed with further interim audits carried out as appropriate.

 

Comments

Disclaimer:

The information above is provided in good faith and while every care has been taken in verifying and presenting this information, Associates in Capital Markets (ACAPM) makes no representations and gives no warranties of whatever nature in respect of this information (ncluding but not limited to the accuracy or completeness of any information, facts and/or opinions contained therein

© 2016 | Associates in Capital Markets (ACAPM)