For one, it was based largely on estimates from global banks that were surveyed—but not necessarily on actual transactions. The announcement was determined to be a Benchmark Transition Event, a defined term in ISDA and the ARRC’s recommended language for LIBOR fallback provisions in loan and derivative contracts. Additionally, Patel points out, Libor was unsecured—the loans it was based on didn’t use collateral—so it included a credit risk premium. SOFR is a secured rate, based on transactions that involve collateral, in the form of Treasuries, so there’s no credit risk premium baked into the rates. Once upon a time, Libor—the London Interbank Offered Rate—was the most important benchmark for setting interest rates on commercial and consumer loans.

These scandals were in part driven, or allowed by, the interbank lending market shrinking in recent years, notes Patel. With fewer transactions, he says, the index began reflecting quoted rates, rather than actual rates from transactions. And “this self-reported Libor rate may not accurately represent the true cost of borrowing,” notes Weller.

  1. The SOFR includes all trades in the Broad General Collateral Rate plus bilateral Treasury repurchase agreement (repo) transactions cleared through the Delivery-versus-Payment (DVP) service offered by the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC), which is filtered to remove a portion of transactions considered “specials”.
  2. Corporate volume finally picked up the summer of 2021 following the regulators‘ Statement on the LIBOR Transition on November 30, 2020, and momentum increased after the ARRC formally recommended forward-looking Term SOFR  rates on July 29, 2021.
  3. The Loan Market Association is keeping track of RFR-linked loansin the market.52 Such loans have increased infrequency since last year, which is a positive sign in the contextof the cessation of LIBOR.
  4. In addition, banking regulations after the financial crisis meant that there was less interbank borrowing happening, prompting some officials to express concern that the limited volume of trading activity made the LIBOR even less reliable.

The Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) is a benchmark interest rate for dollar-denominated derivatives and loans that replaced the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). „The recommended spread adjustments would not and are not intended to apply to new contracts referencing SOFR.“ Also, most U.S. lenders have been transitioning to SOFR since 2020, when the financial regulators warned them to move away from Libor before the June 30, 2023 deadline. Financial analysts see SOFR as a big improvement to Libor because it’s based on concrete data from actual lending transactions between institutions. Lenders use it to determine the base rate on loans to consumers and businesses, in addition to looking at the borrower’s credit profile and other loan factors. SOFR’s establishment, grounded in actual market transactions, marks a significant evolution in financial benchmarks.

What Is the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR)?

The SOFR is an influential interest rate banks use to price U.S. dollar-denominated derivatives and loans. The daily SOFR is based on transactions in the Treasury repurchase market, where investors offer banks overnight loans backed by their bond assets. Big financial institutions lend money to each other using Treasury bond repurchase agreements, which financial pros call repos. These repo agreements allow banks to make overnight loans to meet liquidity and reserve requirements, using Treasurys as collateral. Libor was based on the rates that financial institutions said they would offer each other for short-term loans.

As noted above, a key difference between SOFR and Libor is the fact that the former is based on completed financial transactions while the latter relied on quotes from reporting banks that were not necessarily from actual financial transactions. “SOFR provides a robust and transparent method for determining a common benchmark rate based on observed, cleared transactions in the marketplace,” says Sam Weller, Senior Vice President and Director of Capital Markets at Bryn Mawr Trust. SOFR measures the broad cost of overnight cash borrowing, using Forex Brokers Treasury securities as collateral. LIBOR was the rate banks used to borrow from each other internationally—it was sunsetted in June 2023. The European Central Bank (ECB), on the other hand, opted to use the Euro Overnight Index Average (EONIA), which is based on unsecured overnight loans, while Japan applied its own rate, called the Tokyo overnight average rate (TONAR). For instance, the United Kingdom chose the Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA), an overnight lending rate, as its benchmark for sterling-based contracts going forward.

Understanding the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR)

Use of any data published by the New York Fed is subject to their Terms of Use for Select Rate Data. Miranda Marquit has been covering personal finance, investing easymarkets opiniones and business topics for almost 15 years. She has contributed to numerous outlets, including NPR, Marketwatch, U.S. News & World Report and HuffPost.


With theyear-end timeline for stopping new originations of LIBOR loans fastapproaching, now is the time to take a close look at SOFR and howit will work in the context of specific loan agreements. SOFR is much less likely to be manipulated as the Treasury repo fxchoice review market is one of the most liquid markets in the world, which means there’s much more real transaction data to rely on, rather than self-reported hypothetical rates. The move to the SOFR is expected to have the greatest impact on the derivatives market.

Secured Overnight Financing Rate (I:SOFR)

The change will mostly impact financial institutions, though if you look at loan interest rates you may find a notation that they’re now calculated based on SOFR, rather than Libor. Regardless of the SOFR transition, loan rates overall have jumped due to the Fed’s battle against inflation. This objective has caused the central bank to hike the federal funds rate 10 consecutive times since early 2022. The most notable change borrowers will see from the transition to SOFR will be its effect on loans with an adjustable rate, like a mortgage or a private student loan. It came from interest rate quotes that lenders claimed they would offer each other for short-term loans, making it highly susceptible to manipulation.

In addition, banking regulations after the financial crisis meant that there was less interbank borrowing happening, prompting some officials to express concern that the limited volume of trading activity made the LIBOR even less reliable. Eventually, the British regulator that compiled LIBOR rates said it would no longer require banks to submit interbank lending information after 2021. This update sent developed countries around the world scrambling to find an alternative reference rate that could eventually replace it.

In this case, the payer benefits when interest rates go up because the value of the incoming SOFR-based payments is now higher, even though the cost of the fixed-rate payments to the counterparty remains the same. If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), for example, you should check your rate when it resets from fixed to adjustable; it may go up. The conspiracy served to conceal weaknesses in the banks, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.