British regulators said they wanted to phase out the scandal-plagued interest rate by 2021, replacing it with new measures more closely tied to the lending markets.

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LONDON — The benchmark is one of the most important in the world. It underpins trillions of dollars in financial products. It was the center of a huge scandal when banks were accused of rigging it.

Now Libor is going away.

British regulators said Thursday that they wanted to phase out the scandal-plagued interest rate by 2021, replacing it with new measures more closely tied to the lending markets.

The London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, is the underlying rate for a vast array of financial products, from home loans and credit cards to small-business loans.

To set Libor, banks submit the rates at which they would be prepared to lend money to one another, on an unsecured basis, in various currencies and at varying maturities. But that process has been undermined in recent years.

Several banks were accused of adjusting their Libor submissions to benefit themselves and their traders’ positions, rather than reflecting the rates at which they were actually making loans. An inquiry into manipulation of the rate led to billions of dollars in fines and shook the reputations of some of the world’s biggest banks.

British authorities have not explicitly linked the decision to do away with Libor to the scandals. But concerns over rate-rigging have increased scrutiny over how the benchmark is determined, and regulators say the rate has simply become less reliable.

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority in Britain, said the market that Libor sought to measure — unsecured wholesale term lending to banks — was “no longer sufficiently active” for it to continue as a benchmark.

Bailey said that the regulator had agreed with the panel banks to sustain Libor through 2021 to smooth a transition to new rates.

“This date is far enough away significantly to reduce the risks and costs of a more sudden change,” Bailey said. “By having a date by which transition will need to be complete, however, we give market participants a schedule to plan to, and make it easier for them to engage as many counterparties and Libor users as is practicably possible in that planning.”