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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
09/06/2010 10-333 Technical Advice- The Equivalence between the Japanese Regulatory and Supervisory Framework and the EU Regulatory Regime for Credit Rating Agencies , Technical Advice PDF
4.59 MB
17/05/2011 2011/144 Final advice- ESMA´s Technical Advice to the Commission on Fees for CRAs Technical Advice PDF
1.72 MB
18/05/2011 2011/146 Press release- ESMA issues Guidelines on endorsement and clarifies the use for regula-tory purposes of credit ratings issued outside the European Union after 6 June 2011 , Press Release PDF
33.42 KB
06/06/2011 2011/170 Press release- ESMA and the Japanese FSA exchanged letters establishing the cooperation framework between the EU and Japan for credit rating agencies , Press Release PDF
133.72 KB
07/07/2011 2011/195 Press release- ESMA investigates how Member States have implemented the Transparency Directive , Press Release PDF
61.34 KB
18/01/2011 2011/27 Press release- ESMA finds diversity across Europe in regulators’ contingency measures for financial crisis situations , Press Release PDF
31.5 KB
19/09/2011 2011/306 Press release- ESMA issues first drafts of binding standards for credit rating agencies , Press Release PDF
28.01 KB
31/10/2011 2011/360 Press release- DBRS, Fitch, Moody's, and S&P receive EU registration , Press Release PDF
189.6 KB
21/12/2011 2011/460 Press Release- ESMA extends transitional period for use of non-EU credit ratings, Australian CRA regime endorsed , Press Release PDF
164.63 KB
15/03/2012 2012/158 ESMA allows EU-registered CRAs to endorse credit ratings issued in the US, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore Press Release PDF
189.93 KB
ESMA today announces that it considers the regulatory frameworks for credit rating agencies (CRAs) of the United States of America, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore to be in line with European rules. The EU Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies1 requires ESMA to assess whether the requirements of third-country CRA regimes are “as stringent as” the European ones. Today’s announcement allows European financial institutions to continue using for regulatory purposes credit ratings issued in these countries after 30 April 2012. ESMA’s assessment of third-country CRA regimes is an important tool for enhancing internationally consistent supervision of CRAs in the interests of protecting financial markets and investors in the EU.
22/03/2012 2012/220 ESMA issues a report on its first examinations of credit rating agencies , Press Release PDF
189.81 KB
ESMA today publishes a report (ESMA/2012/207) on the supervision of Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) registered in the European Union (EU). The report provides an overview of ESMA’s supervisory activity and summarises the results of the first examinations ESMA conducted in December 2011 of three groups of CRAs, namely Fitch Ratings (Fitch), Moody’s Investor Services (Moody’s) and Standard and Poor’s Rating Services (S&P).
18/04/2012 2012/256 ESMA approves credit ratings from Argentina and Mexico for use in the EU , Press Release PDF
186.59 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announces today that it considers the regulatory frameworks for credit rating agencies (CRAs) of Argentina and Mexico to be in line with European Union rules.  Today’s announcement allows European financial institutions to continue using credit ratings issued in these countries for regulatory purposes after 30 April 2012.In order to facilitate regulatory information exchange, and as a precondition to endorsement, ESMA has entered into co-operation agreements for the supervision of CRAs with the national competent authorities of Argentina and Mexico.  Ratings issued under the regulatory frameworks of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the United States have already been approved for use in the EU.
18/04/2012 2012/259 Technical advice on CRA regulatory equivalence- US, Canada and Australia Technical Advice PDF
697.78 KB
On 12 June 2009 the European Commission requested CESR, now ESMA, to provide its technical advice on the equivalence between the legal and supervisory framework of Japan, The United States, and Canada with the EU regulatory regime for credit rating agencies. (Regulation (EC) No. 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and the Council on credit rating agencies ). On 17 November 2009, the Commission also requested CESR to provide its technical advice on Australia. On 28 September 2010, the European Commission published an equivalence decision on Japan. With regard to the compliance with the EU requirements on endorsement, ESMA had already indicated that it considers the legal and regulatory regime for CRAs supervision of the following countries as “as stringent as” the EU requirements:        - On 22 December 2011, Japan and Australia;        - On 15 March 2012, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. This report sets out ESMA’s advice to the European Commission in respect of the equivalence between the US (Part I), Canada (Part II) and Australia (Part III) respective legal and supervisory frameworks and the EU regulatory regime for credit rating agencies.
26/04/2012 2012/272 ESMA identifies divergence in Member States’ use of sanctions under the Market Abuse Directive , Press Release PDF
179.91 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a report on the use of administrative and criminal sanctions by European Union (EU) national regulators under the Market Abuse Directive (MAD).  The report provides a comparison of the use of administrative sanctioning powers across 29 EEA Member States for 2008-2010.  The results of the report will provide input to the legislative process on the new market abuse regime.
27/04/2012 2012/274 ESMA approves credit ratings from Brazil for use in the EU , Press Release PDF
182.58 KB
ESMA considers the regulatory framework for credit rating agencies (CRAs) of Brazil to be in line with European Union rules. This allows European financial institutions to continue using credit ratings issued in Brazil for regulatory purposes after 30 April 2012. In order to facilitate the exchange of regulatory information, and as a precondition to endorsement, ESMA has also entered into a co-operation agreement for the supervision of CRAs with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil (Comissão de Valores Mobiliários – CVM).
24/05/2012 2012/330 ESMA finds high level of consistency in EU national regulators’ practices for the approval of investment prospectuses , Press Release PDF
177.71 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today “Prospectus Directive – Good Practices in the approval process“,  a peer review report on the application of regulatory good practices by national supervisory authorities - competent authorities (CA)  when approving investment prospectuses.The review was conducted using good practice criteria that ESMA developed on selected areas of the Prospectus Directive dealing with the approval process for investment prospectuses.  The prospectuses provide investors with easy to understand and relevant information on investment products.  Peer review reports on national regulators’ procedures contribute to ESMA’s objective of fostering supervisory convergence and achieving a level playing field between jurisdictions.
02/02/2012 2012/64 ESMA makes available data on credit ratings’ past performances- central repository launched Press Release PDF
196.21 KB
ESMA launches today a Central Rating Repository (CEREP) providing information on credit ratings issued by those 15 Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) which are either registered or certified in the European Union.   The CEREP database will allow investors to assess for the first time on a single platform the performance and reliability of credit ratings on different types of ratings, asset classes and geo-graphical regions over the time period of choice.  To access the database, please click here.
20/12/2012 2012/860 ESMA proposes guidelines on the scope of the CRA Regulation , Press Release PDF
109.79 KB
ESMA proposes guidelines on the scope of the CRA Regulation The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched a Consultation Paper on Guidelines and Recommendations on the scope of the CRA Regulation.  The draft Guidelines aim to provide clarification on certain aspects of the scope of the Credit Rating Agencies (CRA) Regulation to registered CRAs, other market participants operating on the perimeter of this sector and to national securities markets regulators.The draft Guidelines focus on a number of areas under the CRA Regulation, which ESMA believes require clarification following its experience of the registration process and the enforcement of the perimeter of the CRA Regulation under the new EU supervisory regime.  The Guidelines will contribute to a consistent approach to the application of the CRA Regulation and ensure a level-playing field for all market participants in this industry.ESMA would like to remind market participants that issuing credit ratings in the EU is a regulated activity.  Market participants conducting rating activities within the scope of the CRA Regulation must apply for registration with ESMA, and that carrying on these activities without registration constitutes an infringement of the CRA Regulation and is subject to administrative sanctions, including fines.The draft Guidelines address the following issues:•    Obligation to register;•    Credit rating activities and exemptions from registration;•    Private Ratings;•    Establishment of branches outside the EU by registered CRAs;•    Specific disclosure best practices – credit scoring firms and export credit agencies; and•    Enforcement of the scope of the CRA RegulationThe closing date for responses is 20 February 2013 and an open hearing on the consultation will take place in Paris on 22 January 2013.
21/11/2013 2013/1703 Technical Advice on the feasibility of a network of small and medium-sized CRAs Technical Advice PDF
601.05 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has finalised its Technical Advice to the European Commission on the feasibility of a network of small and medium sized credit rating agencies in order to increase competition in the market. The technical advice provides quantitative and qualitative information on small and medium-sized CRAs in the EU, based on the analysis of the periodic reporting obligations of CRAs to ESMA via the central repository CEREP. It also covers some information regarding possible barriers to entry for companies that wish to conduct rating activity in the EU. Contents The main findings of the advice are: • The 22 registered CRAs are established in 11 EU Member States; • None of the small and medium-sized CRAs cover the whole range of the five rating classes considered (corporates (non-financial), financials, insurance, sovereign and public finance, and structured finance). Whilst DBRS and BCRA cover four and three classes respectively, all the remaining small and medium-sized CRAs cover one or two rating classes only. This contrasts with Fitch, Moody’s and S&P that issue ratings for all five possible rating classes; • Small and medium-sized CRAs are mainly active in issuing corporate ratings. Within this rating type, four small and medium-sized CRAs issue a relatively high number of corporate ratings (CERVED and ICAP) or financial and insurance ratings (GBB and AM Best); • Only 6 of the small and medium-sized CRAs provide sovereign ratings (BCRA, Capital Intelligence, DBRS, European Rating, Feri Euro Rating (Feri) and Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR)), whilst only one (DBRS) issues structured finance ratings; • As of end 2012 the majority of small and medium-sized CRAs issued solicited ratings only, whilst eight issued unsolicited ratings only. Three small and medium-sized CRAs (DBRS, JCR, and Scope) issued both solicited and unsolicited ratings, as was the case also for Fitch, Moody’s and S&P; • As regards geographical coverage of the small and medium-sized CRAs 6 out of 19 (AM Best, Capital Intelligence, Creditreform, DBRS, JCR and Scope) have a coverage that goes beyond one Member State when referring to corporate ratings. As regards the sovereign ratings type, three of the small and medium-sized CRAs cover more than one Member State (Capital Intelligence, Feri and JCR). In both of these ratings types, Fitch, Moody’s and S&P’s rating activities cover all Member States of the EU; • In 2013, 96% of the supervisory fees were paid by S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch, while their turnover from rating and ancillary services was equal to 88% of the total turnover of the 20 registered and certified CRAs in 2012: and • As of July 2013, 14 out of 19 small and medium-sized CRAs have been granted at least one of the regulatory exemptions provided for in the CRA Regulation. Finally, and with reference to the current situation in the segment of small and medium-sized CRAs, ESMA is not aware of any private networks of small and medium-sized CRAs currently in place.
02/12/2013 2013/1790 ESMA identifies deficiencies in CRAs sovereign ratings processes Press Release PDF
118.75 KB
ESMA identifies deficiencies in CRAs sovereign ratings processes The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Report identifying a number of deficiencies in the processes for producing and issuing sovereign ratings at the three largest credit rating agencies (CRAs), Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s. The Report follows an investigation carried out by ESMA into the sovereign rating processes at the three CRAs, between February and October 2013. The investigation was prompted by concerns about potential conflicts of interests, the impact of sovereign ratings on other types of ratings, CRAs’ capacity to cope with the number of rating actions during a period of high volatility, the use of bulk rating actions, and issues around the confidentiality and timing of rating actions. The investigation focused on the governance and organisation of sovereign rating activities, the adequacy and expertise of allocated human resources, the disclosure of rating information to the public, and ensuring its confidentiality before disclosure. ESMA identified deficiencies and issues for improvement in the following areas: • Independence and avoidance of conflicts of interests; • Confidentiality of sovereign rating information; • Timing of publication of rating actions; and • Resources allocated to sovereign ratings. ESMA has not determined whether any of the Report’s findings constitute a breach of the CRA Regulation, and may take action as appropriate in due course. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA’s investigation revealed shortcomings in the sovereign ratings process which could pose risks to the quality, independence and integrity of the ratings and of the rating process. “The focus on the sovereign rating process in this investigation stems from their increased volatility over the past few years, the importance of sovereign ratings from a credit market and financial stability perspective, and their impact on other rated entities and products. “The impact which changes in these ratings can have on financial markets, and sovereign states, can be significant. Therefore, it is imperative that users can have confidence that the CRAs have adequate systems and controls in place to ensure that ratings are rigorous, free from conflicts of interest and timely. “The CRAs who were subject to this investigation still need to make improvements in their working practices to ensure their full compliance with the CRA Regulation and to eradicate inadequate practices from the past.” Investigation Findings The key areas where ESMA identified deficiencies requiring remedial actions by the CRAs included the following areas and related issues: 1. Independence and avoidance of conflicts of interests: ESMA has concerns that in a number of areas associated with conflicts of interest and independence, the actual failings or potential risks identified might compromise the independence of the ratings process and the quality of the credit ratings. These include: • the type of involvement of senior management in sovereign rating activities; • the independent review function’s participation in the sovereign rating process; • the research publication activities carried out by CRAs; • the involvement by certain non-rating functions (e.g. communication) in the rating process; and • the implementation of the appeal procedure. 2. Confidentiality of sovereign rating information The investigation identified deficiencies in the way confidential rating information is managed, in particular how access to information on upcoming rating actions on sovereigns is controlled. These include: • the disclosure of upcoming rating actions to an unauthorised third party; • inadequate controls in place for the circulation of rating information within the CRA(s); • the controls around the use of external communication consultants; and • inappropriate permissions and controls to secure access to rating information. 3. Timing of publication of rating actions: The investigation found that there had been instances of significant and frequent delays in the publication of sovereign ratings. ESMA also observed deficiencies in the advance notification to rated entities about upcoming rating actions. 4. Resources allocated to sovereign ratings: ESMA has concerns on the resources dedicated to sovereign ratings, in particular: • the lack of an adequate mechanism to assess the adequacy of resources; • assigning lead analyst responsibilities to junior or newly hired staff; • reliance on junior support staff; and • unclear definitions of functions and responsibilities. A number of good practices were also identified amongst the surveyed firms including analytical training programmes, practices designed to improve challenge in rating committees, and to ensure continuity in the allocation of analysts to sovereign portfolios. ESMA has required the CRAs to put in place remedial action plans to address the issues identified, and will monitor their progress against these plans as part of its on-going supervision.

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