Jan 272020

SONIA Oversight Committee External Member - Bank of England

Recruiter: Bank of England
Location: Nationwide
Salary: Not Specified
Posted: 26 Jan 2020
Closes: 21 Feb 2020
Job Function: Board Member
Industry: Finance, Banking

SONIA Oversight Committee External Member

The Bank of England is responsible for the administration of the SONIA benchmark. SONIA is the preferred benchmark for the transition to sterling risk-free rates from Libor.

In its administration of SONIA, the Bank is consistent with regulations and international best practice, as encapsulated by the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks. The Bank has published an externally assured statement of its compliance with IOSCO’s principles.

To provide challenge to the administration of SONIA, there is an oversight function, comprising the SONIA Oversight Committee, supported by the SONIA Stakeholder Advisory Group.

More information is included on the Bank’s SONIA webpages.

We are looking to recruit one external member of the SONIA Oversight Committee.

The Committee

The SONIA Oversight Committee reviews and provides challenge on all aspects of the benchmark determination process and provides scrutiny of the administration of SONIA.

The Oversight Committee will be chaired by the Bank’s Chief Operating Officer, who does not have line responsibility for the production of the benchmark. The other Bank members of the Oversight committee will be the Deputy Governor for Markets and Banking, as the Senior Manager responsible for SONIA, and two Executive Directors from other areas of the Bank. In order to provide additional challenge to the Bank on its governance and processes related to the administration of SONIA, and to bring an independent perspective, two external members are included on the Oversight Committee. Given that the Oversight Committee’s responsibilities require it to review highly commercially sensitive information, the selection of these external members has due regard for the necessity to avoid conflicts of interest. For the same reason, the minutes of their meetings will not be published.

The responsibilities of the Oversight Committee include:

  • overseeing the periodic reviews of the benchmark methodology with a view to ensuring that it continues adequately to measure the underlying interest, and if necessary oversee any changes to the methodology;
  • overseeing the administrator's control framework, management and operation of the benchmark, commissioning audits as necessary;
  • overseeing the data quality controls, and the administrative arrangements for addressing breaches of the Reporting Instructions and escalating suspected misconduct; and
  • monitoring the frequency of errors and republications and the actions of the administrator in challenging or validating input data.

The Terms of Reference for the Oversight Committee are available online.

The Bank’s administration of the SONIA benchmark and the Oversight Committee’s oversight of it are also supported by the SONIA Stakeholder Advisory Group. The Stakeholder Advisory Group comprises relevant SONIA stakeholders, selected on the basis of their expertise and relevant market knowledge. This will include (but is not limited to): market infrastructure providers; reporters to the Sterling Money Market daily data collection; interdealer brokers; and other users of the SONIA benchmark. Information shared with this Group will not be of a confidential nature, to avoid potential conflicts of interest arising. One of the external members of the Oversight Committee acts as chair of the Stakeholder Advisory Group.

The responsibilities of the Stakeholder Advisory Group include:

  • Providing advice on the functioning of the underlying market being measured by the SONIA benchmark
  • Reviewing the published policy documentation associated with the benchmark, e.g. errors policy, republication
  • Providing perspectives on whether the methodology continues to appropriately measure the underlying interest
  • Provide advice on any changes required to the benchmark determination
  • Providing feedback on any proposed changes to the benchmark methodology

Job Description

External members of the SONIA Oversight Committee provide credible challenge to the Bank on its governance and processes related to the administration of SONIA. They also contribute to the avoidance of ‘groupthink’ in Oversight Committee discussions.

Specifically, the independent members:

  • ensure independent challenge to the Bank in its operation of the SONIA benchmark, bringing additional experience and breadth to the Board from senior positions in other relevant industries; and
  • bring an independent perspective to openness and accountability. This includes ensuring the input of external stakeholders’ views into the Bank’s decisions and that information on SONIA is made available to meet external stakeholders’ needs.

The role we are recruiting for will also act as chair of the SONIA Stakeholder Advisory Group.

Membership of the SONIA Oversight Committee is expected to require a part-time commitment of a minimum of 6 days per year (on average 2 days per meeting).

Additionally, chairing the SONIA Stakeholder Advisory Group meetings are expected to require a part-time commitment of a minimum of an additional 6 day per year (on average 3 day per meeting).

The appointment will be for three years, with the possibility of renewal for a further three year term. Compensation will be £1,050 per day and meetings will take place at the Bank’s offices in London.

Members are required to abide by the Bank’s Code for staff: further details can be found at: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/about/human-resources/ourcode.pdf

The responsibilities of the Oversight Committee will require sight of highly commercially sensitive information. All members of the SONIA Oversight Committee are required to adhere to the Conflicts of Interest Code of Practice, which ensures any potential conflict is managed.

Candidates should therefore carefully consider whether their circumstances may give rise to a conflict, and declare this upon application, members will be selected with due regard for the avoidance of conflicts of interest

Please contact benchmarkadministration@bankofengland.co.uk should you wish to discuss conflicts of interest further prior to submitting an application.

Role Requirements

The attributes and behaviours required for each external Committee member include:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong verbal communication
  • Ability to bring independence of thought
  • Experience of providing challenge
  • Able to relate operational issues to policy

While ideally members would have a detailed understanding of international best practice in benchmark administration, this would unduly limit the number of possible candidates. Between them, the external members should therefore have:

  • Expertise in strong governance and effective management of conflicts of interests
  • Understanding of sterling money markets
  • Understanding of market products referencing SONIA
  • Experience of oversight of operational processes

To complement existing expertise in the committee, in this recruitment we will place particular emphasis on final three areas of expertise.

Please submit your CV and fully complete the application form questions, as incomplete submissions may not be reviewed.

We continue to build an inclusive culture where everyone can be their whole selves and produce their best work. Our focus on inclusion is intended to build greater diversity in order to reflect the society we serve and be an employer of choice.

The closing date for applications is 17 February 2020.

Please apply online, ensuring that you answer the application questions and submit your CV

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