London, 7 October 2022
Independent professional services company PwC examined the policies and processes through which Argus assesses prices for crude oil, oil products, LPG, chemicals, thermal and coking coal, natural gas, biofuels, biomass, metals, fertilizer and agriculture markets.
The policies and processes reviewed by PwC were designed by Argus to comply with the principles for price reporting agencies (PRAs) set out by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (the Iosco PRA Principles) in October 2012.
EU financial regulator the European Securities and Markets Authority has also ruled that an annual review against Iosco PRA Principles is sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the audit report requirements of the EU Benchmark Regulation (BMR), which came into effect in January 2018.
The prices reviewed included those published by Argus Media and those administered by Argus Benchmark Administration (ABA). ABA was incorporated in the Netherlands in April 2019 to administer all those benchmarks that fall into the scope of the BMR.
Argus Media chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said: “We maintain the highest possible standards as we know our customers rely on our independent prices, which add vital transparency to opaque commodity markets. It is important that our methodology remains market appropriate and fully transparent. The review represents an independent and rigorous external assurance of our policies and processes”.
Argus became the first PRA to complete an independent review of oil benchmarks, in October 2013, and was the first to extend the Iosco PRA Principles to non-oil energy benchmarks, in January 2014.
The Iosco PRA Principles were endorsed by the G20 in November 2012. They cover governance, control, quality, integrity and conflict management in relation to commodity benchmark price assessments published by PRAs, and require an annual external audit.
Argus’ policies and procedures, together with the full assurance review, and its price assessment methodologies are available online.