Working group on euro risk-free rates

This industry-led working group was established to identify and recommend risk-free rates that could serve as a basis for an alternative to current benchmarks used in a variety of financial instruments and contracts in the euro area.

The group put forward three risk-free rate candidates. It then sought feedback from the market via a public consultation on which of the three would be the most suitable.

Based on further discussion and the feedback received, the group announced its recommendation on 13 September 2018 that ESTER be used as the risk-free rate for the euro area.

The group is now exploring possible approaches for ensuring a smooth transition to this rate.

Transition planning

Careful transition planning by market participants is needed to minimise disruption to markets and consumers and to safeguard the continuity of contracts to the greatest extent possible, including contracts that currently reference a term rate rather than an overnight rate. These tasks require the involvement of public authorities and a concerted effort by all market participants to facilitate a gradual reduction in the current reliance on interbank offered rates.

Structure of the group

The working group is chaired by a private sector representative and the ECB provides the secretariat. The working group is made up of 21 credit institutions as voting members, five institutions as non-voting members and one institution as an invitee.

The group was set up by the ECB, together with the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Commission. These four public institutions have observer status in the group.

In addition, three subgroups on term structure, contract robustness and EONIA transition have been established by the working group.

Participation in the substructures of the working group
The members of the working group and its substructures were selected via a call for expressions of interest. Other non-banking institutions or associations are still welcome to flag their interest in contributing to the activities of the substructures reporting to the working group (see the working group’s terms of reference).

Applicants should fill in the dedicated application form provided below and send it by email to Applicants are expected to provide a brief overview of their motivation for applying and state their willingness to dedicate time and resources to any work streams to which they are allocated.

Application form

Commitment to transparency

Guidelines on EU competition law

The working group regularly consults market participants and end users, as well as gathers feedback from other public authorities. Its terms of reference are publicly available and the group regularly reports on its meetings. This is to ensure transparency throughout the entire process of identifying and adopting new risk-free rates.

Ensuring broad market acceptance is vital for the effective functioning of any alternative to existing benchmark rates.


19 December
18 October

Past meetings

13 September

Item 4: WG Euro RFRs Subgroup #4: EONIA-RFR Transition
Item 5: Update by Subgroup 2 on the identification and recommendation of a term structure on RFRs
11 July

Item 2: Potential scenario for EONIA and Euribor: timeline issues
Item 3.2: Presentation of ESTER by the ECB
Item 5: Update by Subgroup 2 on the identification and recommendation of a term structure on RFRs
Item 7.1: LMA on their change in documentation for the replacement of screen rate clause
Item 7.2: Update from ISDA on its international survey and report on global benchmark transition and future amendment of its documentation
17 May

Item 2: Potential scenario for EONIA and Euribor
Item 3.1: Mapping exercise- update on the estimation of the aggregate usage of EONIA and Euribor
Item 3.2.2: Presentation of the Repo Fund Rates indices by Nex
Item 3.2.3: Presentation of the GC Pooling indices by Stoxx
Item 4: Update of subgroup 2 on term structure
20 April

Item 1: Brief Summary on the mandate and organisation of the working group
Item 2: Guidelines on the EU competition law: presentation
Item 3: Overview of the relevant developments in the benchmark reforms
Item 4.1: Mapping exercise of the usage of EONIA and Euribor
Item 4.2: Mapping exercise of the legal frameworks
Item 4.3: Criteria list for the selection of the euro RFR
Item 5: Presentation of subgroup 2 on term structure
Item 6: Presentation of subgroup 3 on contract robustness
26 February

Item 1: Welcome address (ECB)
Item 2: Introducing the mandate of the working group (FSMA)
Item 3.1: FSB recommendations and examples of the other working groups
Item 3.2: ISDA Fallbacks and other Benchmarks Initiatives
Item 3.3: Euribor and EONIA reforms
Item 3.4: EU Benchmark Regulation
Item 4: Determine mandate and governance
Item 5: ESMA presentation on contracts subgroup
Item 6: Concluding remarks (ESMA)