The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) recommended in its 2014 Annual Report that U.S. regulators cooperate with foreign regulators, international bodies, and market participants to promptly identify alternative interest rate benchmarks anchored in observable transactions and supported by appropriate governance structures, and to develop a plan to accomplish a transition to new benchmarks while such alternative benchmarks were being identified. Greater reliance on alternative reference interest rates will make financial markets more robust and thus enhance the safety and soundness of individual institutions, make financial markets more resilient, and support financial stability in the United States. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has also called for the development of alternative, nearly risk-free reference rates.
In response to the FSOC's recommendations and the objectives of the FSB, the Federal Reserve convened the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) on November 17, 2014 in a meeting with representatives of major over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market participants and their domestic and international supervisors and central banks. The ARRC was convened to identify a set of alternative reference interest rates that are more firmly based on transactions from a robust underlying market and that comply with emerging standards such as the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks and to identify an adoption plan with means to facilitate the acceptance and use of these alternative reference rates. The ARRC was also asked to consider the best practices related to robust contract design that ensure that contracts are resilient to the possible cessation or material alteration of an existing or new benchmarks.