March 30, 2022

Building a better fixed income benchmark: FTSE World Government Bond Index Series (WGBI)

Creating a successful fixed income benchmark means more than just setting up an index and publishing its rules.

There are minimum standards set by regulators. A benchmark should follow global best practice on governance, controls, data quality, conflicts of interest and consumer protection, as set out in the 2013 IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks and the 2016 EU Benchmark Regulation.

However, our standards go beyond regulation. In this paper, we highlight the principles we believe are particularly important in fixed income benchmark design - objectivity, relevance, modularity, predictability and replicability - and provide examples that illustrate what they mean and why they matter in the context of fixed income benchmark construction.