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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
03/07/2017 ESMA31-62-746 EEA prospectus activity in 2016 , Report PDF
475.66 KB
01/06/2017 ESMA71-99-466 ESMA fines Moody’s €1.24 million for credit ratings breaches , , Press Release PDF
238.35 KB

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.

06/04/2017 ESMA33-9-158 Supervisory Briefing: A Common Approach to the CRA Regulation’s Provisions for Encouraging the use of Smaller CRAs Report PDF
687.07 KB
  1. ESMA is required to play an active role in building a common supervisory culture by promoting common supervisory approaches and practices among nationally appointed Sectoral Competent Authorities (‘SCAs’).
  1. The purpose of this supervisory briefing is to provide guidance to SCAs in relation to the application of Articles 8c and 8d of the CRA Regulation and promote a common supervisory approach and enforcement of these Articles. In this regard, the Supervisory Briefing includes the following:
  1. A Common Supervisory Approach as to which issuers and related third parties are covered by Article 8c and 8d; and,
  1. A Standard Form for documentation in accordance with article 8d.
  1. The common supervisory approach will assist SCAs as well as issuers and related third parties by clearly establishing who should be prioritised for supervision and enforcement under these Articles.
  1. The Standard Form will assist SCAs by guaranteeing standardised and consistent data across different issuers and related third parties. It will also assist issuers and related third parties by providing clarity as to how they may meet their regulatory obligations under these Articles and simplify their internal processes by removing the need to develop in-house templates for documenting compliance under Article 8d.
  1. The Supervisory Briefing will be published on ESMA’s website and on the websites of the nationally appointed SCAs.
 
05/04/2017 ESMA31-54-435 Report on shareholder identification and communication systems , Report PDF
1.09 MB
04/04/2017 71-99-378 ESMA proposes updates to endorsement guidelines for 3rd country credit ratings , Press Release PDF
219.77 KB

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.

29/03/2017 ESMA71-99-376 Feri EuroRating Services AG CRA registration withdrawn following acquisition , Press Release PDF
129.1 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today withdrawn the credit rating agency (CRA) registration of Feri EuroRating Services AG (Feri EuroRating).

03/02/2017 ESMA80-1467488426-27 Supervision Annual Report 2016 and Work Programme 2017 , Report PDF
2.49 MB
02/02/2017 ESMA71-844457584-339 Press Release ESMA Supervision 2016 annual report and 2017 work programme , Press Release PDF
142.26 KB
16/12/2016 2016/1662 2016-1662 Competition & Choice in the Credit Rating Industry Report PDF
1.22 MB
01/12/2016 2016/1620 ESMA to provide free credit ratings information to public , Press Release PDF
186.8 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today launched its new database, the European Ratings Platform (ERP), to provide access to free, up-to-date information on credit ratings and rating outlooks on its website. The ERP is an important element of ESMA’s work, following the financial crisis, to increase transparency around credit ratings and help investors make informed decisions.

The benefits of the new ERP include:

  • allowing investors and other users of ratings to easily compare all credit ratings that exist for a specific rated entity or instrument;
  • lowering information costs by centralising information; and
  • helping smaller and new credit rating agencies gain visibility in the market.
15/11/2016 2016/1577 ESMA finalises Guidelines on the validation and review of Credit Rating Agencies’ methodologies , Press Release PDF
215.45 KB
21/07/2016 2016/1157 Press release- ESMA fines Fitch Ratings Limited €1.38 million , Press Release PDF
282.37 KB
05/02/2016 2016/247 ESMA to focus on governance, strategy, data and fees in 2016 supervision , , Press Release PDF
160.03 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today published its 2016 supervisory priorities for credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TRs), as well as its annual report summarising the key supervisory work and actions undertaken during 2015.

2016 Supervisory Priorities

ESMA has seen a number of changes in the CRA and TR industries during 2015, with new applicants for registration in both sectors, and current authorised entities seeking to develop their businesses. This has included CRAs providing credit ratings on new asset classes or in new geographic areas, and TRs offering trade reporting services for other instrument types.

ESMA identifies its supervisory priorities on the basis of risk assessment exercises conducted throughout the year. In 2015 these identified high levels of governance and strategy risk, and operational risk in the CRA industry and high levels of risk associated with TRs’ data and systems. Therefore, in 2016 ESMA will focus its supervisory activities on:

  • CRA governance and strategy and the quality of credit ratings;
  • TR data quality and data access;
  • Fees charged and information security for all supervised entities.

Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said:

“The credit rating and trade repository industries continue to evolve and develop. We are receiving new applications for registration and existing entities are seeking to develop their businesses by expanding into new areas. ESMA supports these developments where they contribute to the maintenance of stable and orderly financial markets.

“For this reason, in 2016 ESMA will focus its work on the quality of the services being provided by supervised entities. This means we will concentrate on issues surrounding CRA governance, strategy and ratings quality, along with data quality and access to TRs’ data with a broad focus on the fee structures and information security in both industries.”

2015 Annual Supervisory Review – CRAs and TRs

In 2015, following its risk-based approach, ESMA focused its supervisory efforts on CRAs’ governance, risk management and internal decision making and on CRAs’ business development processes. Some notable achievements were:

  • investigating the techniques being applied to validate credit rating methodologies by some CRAs and using the differences identified to encourage industry-wide debate about appropriate validation standards;
  • conducting an IT risk assessment which identified that CRAs are facing serious risks in several areas including IT operations and information security;
  • investigating the process of issuing credit ratings followed by one CRA and raising concerns about the preparation of issue ratings, the workloads of credit rating analysts and their involvement in the provision of ancillary services; and
  • concluding an enforcement case against DBRS Ratings Ltd for internal control failings and imposing a €30,000 fine for past record-keeping breaches. The case highlighted the need for CRAs to establish clear decision-making procedures, organisational structures and effective compliance functions.

The key risks TR supervision focused on in 2015 related to the quality of TRs’ data, access to data held by TRs and the operation and performance of TRs’ systems. In 2015, ESMA continued working with TRs to implement the data quality action plan established in September 2014 including:

  • harmonising TRs’ data validation;
  • monitoring the inter-TR reconciliation process; and
  • ensuring the harmonisation of the aggregate data made available on TRs’ websites.

ESMA has also been monitoring National Competent Authorities’ (NCAs) access to TR data. It has entered into a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to help third country regulatory authorities access TR data and is developing an IT system to allow NCAs to submit data queries through a centralised web portal.

05/02/2016 2016/234 ESMA’s supervision of credit rating agencies and trade repositories- 2015 annual report and 2016 work plan. , Report PDF
2.08 MB

The European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) annual report and work programme has been prepared according to Article 21 of Regulation 1060/2009 on credit rating agencies as amended (the CRA Regulation) and Article 85 of Regulation 648/2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (EMIR). It highlights the direct supervisory activities carried out by ESMA during 2015 regarding credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TRs) and outlines ESMA’s main priorities in these areas for 2016.

ESMA adopts a risk-based approach to the supervision of CRAs and TRs in accordance with its overall objectives of promoting financial stability and orderly markets and enhancing investor protection. This risk-based approach requires the analysis of information from a variety of sources and the application of multiple supervisory tools including day-to-day supervision, cycle of engagement meetings with supervised entities, on-site inspections and dedicated investigations.

In order to build on the expertise that ESMA has developed through its supervision of CRAs and TRs, ESMA created a single Supervision Department in November 2015. ESMA intends to draw on the best practices identified from the supervision of both types of entity to further enhance its supervisory effectiveness in future.

18/12/2015 2015/1871 Proxy advisors take steps towards increased transparency , , Press Release PDF
157.9 KB
02/10/2015 2015/1483 ESMA sees progress in reform of EU credit rating industry , Press Release PDF
195.75 KB
29/06/2015 2015/1050 Press Release- ESMA fines DBRS Ratings Ltd. for internal control failings , Press Release PDF
172.71 KB
16/02/2015 2015/281 Press Release- ESMA publishes annual report and supervisory focus for CRAs and TRs , , , Press Release PDF
186.67 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published today an annual report (Report) on its direct supervisory activities in 2014 regarding credit rating agencies (CRAs) and trade repositories (TR). The report summarises the key actions taken during 2014 and outlines ESMA’s supervisory work plans for both sectors for 2015.
16/12/2014 2014/1525 Press Release- Improvements needed in CRAs surveillance of structured finance credit ratings , Press Release PDF
88.76 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published a report on the findings of its investigation into the way credit rating agencies (CRA) conduct surveillance of their structured finance credit ratings. The investigation, which took place between October 2013 and September 2014, was prompted by the continued relevance of structured finance products and the high outstanding volume in issuance. It focused on the four largest CRAs providing credit ratings on these finance instruments in the EU – DBRS Ratings, Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s – which account for almost 100% of the total outstanding credit ratings on EU structured finance instruments. In its investigation ESMA identified a number of shortcomings in several areas affecting the surveillance of structured finance ratings for the CRAs investigated. ESMA also identified weaknesses on the level of disclosure and transparency which could be detrimental to investor protection. 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 has found shortcomings in CRAs’ processes for the surveillance of structured finance credit ratings which could affect the quality of the ratings. These concerns centred on information quality controls, the application of CRAs’ methodologies and the related disclosure as well as the timely completion of the credit ratings annual review.  Issues were also identified in relation to the role and independence of the internal review function. “The high volume of issued structured finance instruments and renewed interest in securitisation as an alternative funding source make the results of this review all the more timely. “All registered CRAs should take note of the problems identified and ensure that they properly incorporate the requirements and objectives of the CRA Regulation into their working practices in order to ensure the quality of credit ratings and maintain investor confidence. The good practices identified in the Report can help with that improvement.”   ESMA has requested that CRAs put in place the remedial action plans to solve the individual concerns identified. ESMA will follow up with each of the CRAs subject to this investigation. Likewise, ESMA will monitor all other registered CRAs as part of its on-going supervision.
24/06/2014 2014/689 ESMA publishes draft RTS on CRA3 transparency requirements , Press Release PDF
108.13 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Final Report on draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) required under the Credit Rating Agencies (CRA3) Regulation regarding information on transparency of structured finance instruments, the European Rating Platform and periodic reporting of fees charged by credit rating agencies. The draft RTS, which complement the existing regulatory framework for credit rating agencies (CRAs), cover: • disclosure requirements on structured finance instruments (SFIs); • the European Rating Platform (ERP); and • the periodic reporting on fees charged by CRAs. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “The enhanced transparency requirements set out in these draft Regulatory Technical Standards regarding structured finance instruments, CRAs’ fees and ratings will improve the information available to both investors and supervisors. “Their implementation will contribute to a reduction in conflicts of interest, improved investor protection and market stability, and greater competition between CRAs.”