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23/07/2018 ESMA71-99-1017 CRA fine- ESMA fines five banks , Press Release PDF
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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
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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.
01/02/2019 ESMA71-99-1096 ESMA and EU securities regulators MoUs with FCA , , , , , Press Release PDF
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18/04/2012 2012/256 ESMA approves credit ratings from Argentina and Mexico for use in the EU , Press Release PDF
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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.
27/04/2012 2012/274 ESMA approves credit ratings from Brazil for use in the EU , Press Release PDF
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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).
07/06/2013 2013/700 ESMA approves Dagong Europe as a credit rating agency Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has formally approved the registration of Dagong Europe Credit Rating Srl (Dagong Europe), based in Italy, as a credit rating agency (CRA) under Article 16 of the CRA Regulation. The registration takes effect from 13 June 2013.
30/05/2013 2013/630 ESMA approves EIU as a credit rating agency , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has formally approved the registration of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), based in the United Kingdom, as a credit rating agency (CRA) under Article 16 of the CRA Regulation. The registration takes effect from 3 June 2013. EIU’s registration as a CRA means that its credit ratings can be used for regulatory purposes under EU legislation.
01/07/2013 2013/853 ESMA approves Spread Research as a credit rating agency Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has formally approved the registration of Spread Research SAS, based in France, as a credit rating agency (CRA) under Article 16 of the CRA Regulation. The registration takes effect from 1 July 2013.
03/06/2014 2014/596 ESMA censures Standard & Poor’s for internal control failings , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a public notice censuring Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services France SAS and Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services Europe Limited (S&P) for breaches of Regulation 1060/2009 (CRA Regulation). The decision by ESMA to issue a public notice results from its investigation into the erroneous publication on 10 November 2011 by S&P, to the subscribers of its Global Credit Portal, of an email stating “France (Republic of) (Unsolicited Ratings): DOWNGRADE”, although S&P’s rating of France had not been downgraded. ESMA found that this incident was the result of a failure by S&P to meet certain organisational requirements set out in the CRA Regulation, relating to sound internal control mechanisms, effective control and safeguard arrangements for information processing systems and decision-making procedures and organisational structures. ESMA, based on the provisions of the CRA Regulation, decided that the relevant breaches warranted a supervisory measure in the form of a public notice. The final decision on the supervisory measure took into account the steps taken by S&P to end the infringement and was considered proportionate to the seriousness of the breach. Case Background S&P, on 10 November 2011 at 15:57 CET, erroneously released to subscribers of its web-based Global Credit Portal (GCP) an email alert which stated in its header “France (Republic of) (Unsolicited Ratings): DOWNGRADE”, although S&P’s credit rating of France had not changed. GCP is one of the methods used by S&P to disseminate its credit ratings and other financial information products. Among other services, it provides an email alert function that a subscriber can customise in order to receive alerts when certain information changes on GCP, e.g. in case S&P decides to change a credit rating on a particular issuer. S&P’s internal database, where it maintained its credit ratings, was also used to store its Banking Industry Country Risk Assessments (BICRAs). BICRAs are not credit ratings but assessments of the banking systems in particular countries and have been published since 2006. S&P later decided to maintain BICRAs in the same centralised internal database as its credit ratings and to display BICRAs on GCP. The relevant technical specifications for this project treated BICRAs as ratings and no effective action was taken to address the implications this could have. This eventually led to the erroneous release when an attempt to change an incorrect display of France’s BICRA on GCP triggered an email alert stating in its header that the rating of France had been downgraded. ESMA’s Role Since July 2011 ESMA has been responsible for the regulation of credit rating agencies in the European Union including their registration and supervision in line with the requirements of the CRA Regulation. ESMA has the power to take appropriate enforcement action where it discovers a breach of the CRA Regulation, ranging from the issuance of public notices to the withdrawal of registration and imposition of fines.
17/06/2013 2013/743 ESMA clarifies boundary of CRA Regulation Press Release PDF
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17/11/2017 ESMA71-99-642 ESMA clarifies endorsement regime for third-country credit ratings Press Release PDF
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11/02/2014 2014/165 ESMA consults on new CRA transparency requirements Press Release PDF
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15/11/2016 2016/1577 ESMA finalises Guidelines on the validation and review of Credit Rating Agencies’ methodologies , Press Release PDF
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01/06/2017 ESMA71-99-466 ESMA fines Moody’s €1.24 million for credit ratings breaches , , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has fined Moody’s Deutschland GmbH (Moody’s Germany) €750,000 and Moody’s Investors Service Limited (Moody’s UK) €490,000, and issued a public notice, for two negligent breaches of the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation (CRAR).

ESMA found that Moody’s Germany and Moody’s UK negligently committed two infringements of the CRAR regarding their public announcement of certain ratings and their public disclosure of methodologies used to determine those ratings. These failures concern nineteen ratings issued between June 2011 and December 2013 for nine supranational entities including the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the European Stability Mechanism, the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Union.

02/12/2013 2013/1790 ESMA identifies deficiencies in CRAs sovereign ratings processes Press Release PDF
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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.
22/03/2012 2012/220 ESMA issues a report on its first examinations of credit rating agencies , Press Release PDF
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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).
10/07/2013 2013/924 ESMA launches consultation on implementation of new CRA Regulation , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a Discussion Paper dealing with the implementation of the CRA3 Regulation, which entered into force on 20 June 2013.The Regulation, which complements the existing regulatory framework for credit rating agencies (CRAs), requires ESMA to draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on:•    disclosure requirements on structured finance instruments (SFIs);•    the European Rating Platform (ERP); and•    the periodic reporting on fees charged by CRAs.ESMA is seeking views from all interested parties in order to assist in its preparation of the draft RTS to be published for consultation in early 2014.  ESMA must submit the draft RTS to the European Commission by 21 June 2014.
02/02/2012 2012/64 ESMA makes available data on credit ratings’ past performances- central repository launched Press Release PDF
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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
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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.
04/04/2017 71-99-378 ESMA proposes updates to endorsement guidelines for 3rd country credit ratings , Press Release PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a consultation paper (CP) on updating its Guidelines on the application of the endorsement regime under the CRA (Credit Rating Agencies) Regulation. Endorsement is a regime under the CRA Regulation, which allows credit ratings issued by a third-country CRA, and endorsed by an EU CRA, to be used for regulatory purposes in the EU. A credit rating that has been endorsed is considered to have been issued by the endorsing EU CRA. The endorsement regime is available for CRAs of systemic importance with global networks of affiliates.