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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
16/12/2013 2013/1933 CRAs’ Market share calculation according to Article 8d of the CRA Regulation Reference PDF
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19/12/2013 2013/1953 Technical Advice to the European Commission on the equivalence between the Argentinean regulatory and supervisory framework and the EU regulatory regime for CRAs Technical Advice PDF
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11/02/2014 2014/150 Consultation Paper on CRA3 Implementation Consultation Paper PDF
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The consultation paper seeks stakeholders’ views on the draft RTS ESMA is required to adopt under the CRA3 Regulation. The input from stakeholders will help ESMA in drafting the final report. Respondents to this consultation are encouraged to provide the relevant data to support their arguments or proposals. Responding to this paper ESMA invites comments on all matters in this paper. Comments are most helpful if they: contain a clear rationale; include quantitative elements to support any concern; and describe any alternatives ESMA should consider, including alternative drafts. ESMA will consider all comments received by 11 April 2014.All contributions should be submitted online on the Consultation Page.   Hearing ESMA is seeking input from users, producers of credit ratings, those involved in the issuance of structured finance instruments (issuers, originators and sponsors), anyone interested in the up-to-date individual rating data or in competition in the credit market.The hearing will be held on Friday, 14 March 2014, from 10.00 to 13.00 CET and is open to all. Please register on the Hearing page.
11/02/2014 2014/165 ESMA consults on new CRA transparency requirements Press Release PDF
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21/02/2014 2014/151 Credit Rating Agencies Annual Report 2013 Final Report PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Annual Report 2013 (Report) on credit rating agencies (CRAs) in the European Union (EU). The Report also outlines ESMA’s supervisory work plan for this year. ESMA has found that CRAs continue to progress in how they comply with the CRA Regulation, including improved internal transparency and disclosure to the market on credit rating activities as well as empowerment of the compliance function. However, ESMA considers that improvements are still necessary, notably in the following areas: • validation of rating methodologies, to ensure that a credit rating assessment is a comprehensive risk assessment leading to high quality ratings; • internal governance, ensuring the full independence of the internal review function and thereby reducing the risk of potential conflict of interest; and • robust IT systems to support the rating process, including information security controls and protection of confidential rating information. These issues form the basis for much of ESMA’s supervision activities as outlined in its 2014 work plan. This includes the completion of the two on-going supervisory reviews into CRAs’ monitoring of structured finance ratings and into small and medium-sized CRAs. A new thematic investigation on how CRAs review and validate their rating methodologies will also be launched, as well as dedicated work on CRAs’ IT systems and controls. Following the entry into force of the amended CRA Regulation in June 2013, ESMA will also complete a specific assessment on CRAs’ compliance with the new regulatory requirements.
21/02/2014 2014/212 Press release- ESMA sets out CRA supervision focus for 2014 Press Release PDF
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ESMA sets out CRA supervision focus for 2014 The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published its Annual Report 2013 (Report) on credit rating agencies (CRAs) in the European Union (EU). The Report also outlines ESMA’s supervisory work plan for this year. ESMA has found that CRAs continue to progress in how they comply with the CRA Regulation, including improved internal transparency and disclosure to the market on credit rating activities as well as empowerment of the compliance function. However, ESMA considers that improvements are still necessary, notably in the following areas: validation of rating methodologies, to ensure that a credit rating assessment is a comprehensive risk assessment leading to high quality ratings; internal governance, ensuring the full independence of the internal review function and thereby reducing the risk of potential conflict of interest; and robust IT systems to support the rating process, including information security controls and protection of confidential rating information. These issues form the basis for much of ESMA’s supervision activities as outlined in its 2014 work plan. This includes the completion of the two on-going supervisory reviews into CRAs’ monitoring of structured finance ratings and into small and medium-sized CRAs. A new thematic investigation on how CRAs review and validate their rating methodologies will also be launched, as well as dedicated work on CRAs’ IT systems and controls. Following the entry into force of the amended CRA Regulation in June 2013, ESMA will also complete a specific assessment on CRAs’ compliance with the new regulatory requirements. Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair, said: “ESMA is in its third year as the EU’s CRA regulator and today’s report provides us with an assessment of the progress made to date. However, as shown by our recent work on sovereign ratings there are still issues around governance as well as independence,objectivity and quality of the rating process that need to be remedied in order to restore market confidence in CRAs and their ratings. “We will continue to proactively and intrusively supervise CRAs and work with them to address their shortcomings. This will contribute to building confidence in the transparency and smooth functioning of EU financial markets while ensuring a high level of financial consumer protection.” The 2013 Report summarises how ESMA fulfilled its role as the supervisor of CRAs in the EU. It covers ESMA’s supervisory activities, progress in dealing with registrations, and its policy work in relation to existing and new legislative requirements. In particular, the Report focuses on the results of ESMA’s supervisory work through on-going supervision as well as thematic reviews, such as that into the sovereign ratings process of a number of CRAs, the inspections of small and medium-sized CRAs and a further inspection of the ratings publication controls in a single CRA.
07/05/2014 2014/477 ESMA approves EuroRating as a credit rating agency Statement PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has approved the registration of EuroRating Sp. z o.o., based in Poland, as a credit rating agency (CRA) under Article 16 of the CRA Regulation. The registration takes effect from 7 May 2014.
03/06/2014 2014/544 Decision to adopt a supervisory measure taking the form of a public notice in accordance with Articles 23e(5) and 24 of Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on credit rating agencies Decision PDF
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Decision to adopt a supervisory measure taking the form of a public notice in accordance with Articles 23e(5) and 24 of Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on credit rating agencies The Board of Supervisors (“Board”), Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“Treaty”) Having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Securities and Markets Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/77/EC (“ESMA Regulation”), and in particular Article 43(2) and Article 44(1) thereof Having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on credit rating agencies (“CRA Regulation”), in particular Articles 6(2), 23e, 24, 25 thereof Having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 946/2012 of 12 July 2012 supplementing Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to rules of procedure on fines imposed to credit rating agencies by the European Securities and Markets Authority, including rules on the right of defence and temporal provisions (“Procedural Regulation”), in particular Article 3(4) thereof Whereas: (1) On the basis of the file containing the investigating officer’s findings and after examination of the submissions of Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services France SAS and Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services Europe Limited the Board finds that the registered credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services France SAS and Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services Europe Limited have committed the infringements listed in paragraphs 12 and 18 of Annex III.I of the CRA Regulation. (2) The Board considers that the evidence before it does not allow it to establish that Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services France SAS and Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services Europe Limited acted intentionally or negligently as required by Article 36a(1) of the CRA Regulation in order for the Board to impose a fine. (3) The Board thus decides to adopt a supervisory measure taking the form of a public notice in accordance with Article 24 of the CRA Regulation. Has adopted this decision: Article 1 The Board of Supervisors finds that the registered credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services France SAS and Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Services Europe Limited have committed the infringements listed in paragraphs 12 and 18 of Annex III.I of Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on credit rating agencies. Article 2 The Board of Supervisors takes the decision to adopt a supervisory measure taking the form of the following public notice, in accordance with Articles 23e(5) and 24 of Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on credit rating agencies.
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.
24/06/2014 2014/685 Draft Regulatory Technical Standards under the CRA3 Regulation Technical Standards PDF
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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.
24/06/2014 2014/686 Letter to Commissioner Barnier re draft Regulatory Technical Standards under the CRA3 Regulation Letter PDF
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24/06/2014 2014/689 ESMA publishes draft RTS on CRA3 transparency requirements , Press Release PDF
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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.”
16/07/2014 2014/845 Consultation Paper on periodic information to be submitted to ESMA by Credit Rating Agencies Consultation Paper PDF
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Summary The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is consulting on new supervisory guidelines regarding the information that is periodically submitted to ESMA by credit rating agencies. Good quality, relevant and timely data is key to the efficient and effective supervision of the CRA sector and the aim of this consultation paper is to ensure that the information that CRAs are requested to submit supports ESMA's supervisory work in identifying the key risks in the CRA sector. In addition to the periodic reporting to CEREP and SOCRAT, registered CRAs must notify ESMA of changes to their initial conditions for registration and submit periodically to ESMA information in accordance with ESMA’s Guidance on the enforcement practices and activities. CRAs must also submit annually to ESMA information regarding their revenues for the calculation of the supervisory fees and market share. Finally, CRAs submit to ESMA periodically other information that is used for on-going supervisory purposes. The guidelines are proposed under Article 16 of EU No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010, which enables ESMA to publish guidelines addressed to financial market participants with a view to establishing consistent, efficient and effective supervisory practices. These proposed guidelines will replace CESR’s Guidance on the enforcement practices and activities to be conducted under Article 21.3(a) of the Regulation (ESMA/2010/944) of 30 August 2010. The consultation paper should be by read by credit rating agencies (as defined in Article 3(1)(b) of the CRA Regulation), companies which have applied for registration or are considering applying for registration, competent authorities, and consumer groups. An open hearing on the issues contained in this paper will be held on 15 October 2014. The closing date for comments is 31 October 2014.
05/08/2014 2014/939 Report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on ESMA’s staffing and resource for CRA supervision Final Report PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is required by Article 39a of Regulation (EU) No 462/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council of 21 May 2013, amending Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on credit rating agencies (CRA Regulation), to assess the staffing and resources needs arising from the assumption of its powers and duties under the CRA Regulation and submit a report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of these needs. The Report describes the tasks that ESMA carries out in view of its responsibilities under the CRA Regulation. For each task the report analyses the implications in terms of processes and activities to be carried out. The report also provides the implications in terms of resources and budget. While ESMA experienced a steep increase of resources in the initial years following the entry into force of the CRA Regulation, incremental growth in staff numbers in 2015 and 2016 can be envisaged to adequately cope with additional tasks following from the CRA3 Regulation.
17/09/2014 2014/850rev Technical Advice in accordance with Article 39(b) 2 of the CRA Regulation Technical Advice PDF
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This document has been revised to reflect an amended figure in Table 1 and two re-classifications of solicitation status in Table 2. Article 39b(2) of the CRA Regulation states that the European Commission shall adopt a report by end 2014 – after receiving ESMA’s technical advice – on the appropriateness of the development of a European creditworthiness assessment for sovereign debt. In its request for advice, the Commission asked ESMA to provide input on the issue of sovereign ratings and rating processes including an overview of the market for sovereign ratings, information on operational issues regarding sovereign ratings, information on sovereign rating processes as well as lessons drawn from ESMA’s supervisory experience. Contents For the purposes of this advice, ESMA provides its views based on the quantitative information contained in the CEREP public database and on information publicly disclosed by credit rating agencies registered with ESMA. Additionally, ESMA’s advice has been informed by its first supervisory activities regarding the rating process for sovereign ratings of CRAs which are active in the EU sovereign rating market. In accordance with the CRA Regulation, these supervisory activities did not address the content of the sovereign methodologies themselves but rather were concerned with the independence, transparency and governance of the sovereign rating process. Sovereign credit ratings play a crucial role from a credit market and financial stability perspective, not least because sovereign governments account for the largest group of borrowers in capital markets in terms of volume. In addition the crucial importance of these sovereign ratings can be amplified by the “cascade” effect sovereign ratings have on other asset classes via their presence as factors in other asset methodologies. In the EU the sovereign rating market is composed of nine CRAs established in nine different EU member states. These nine CRAs exhibit a high level of variation with respect to the type and number of sovereign ratings they assign. Sovereign credit ratings themselves can also be differentiated in various ways depending on such factors as local/foreign currency, duration of issuance, whether the rating applies to a specific issuer or issuance and if it is solicited or unsolicited. In addition ESMA would like to emphasise the following points which it believes to be important when considering the appropriateness of the development of a European creditworthiness assessment of sovereign debt.
07/11/2014 2014/1345 ESMA certifies HR Ratings de México to operate in the EU Statement PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has formally approved the certification in the European Union of HR Ratings de México, S.A. de C.V. (HR Ratings), a Mexican credit rating agency (CRA), under Article 16 of the CRA Regulation. The certification takes effect from 7 November 2014.
24/11/2014 2014/1399 Public Statement- ESMA approves Moody’s Investors Service EMEA Limited as a credit rating agency Statement PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has approved the registration of Moody’s Investors Service EMEA Limited, based in the UK, as a credit rating agency (CRA) under Article 16 of the CRA Regulation. The registration takes effect from 24th November 2014. Moody’s Investors Service EMEA Limited’s registration as a CRA means that its credit ratings can be used for regulatory purposes under EU legislation. This is the seventh entity in the Moody’s Investors Service group to be registered as an EU Registered Credit Rating Agency.
12/12/2014 2014/1486 Public Statement- ESMA certifies Egan-Jones Ratings Co. to operate in the EU Statement PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has formally approved the certification in the European Union of Egan-Jones Ratings Co. (EJR), an U.S. American credit rating agency (CRA), under Article 16 of the CRA Regulation. The certification takes effect from 12 December 2014.EJR is headquartered in Haverford (Pennsylvania, USA) and is subject to registration, supervision and enforcement by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a “Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization”.
16/12/2014 2014/1524 ESMA’s investigation into structured finance ratings Final Report PDF
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The European Securities and Markets Authorities (ESMA) has published this report to inform of the outcome and findings of its general investigation in the way credit rating agencies (CRAs) conduct surveillance of structured finance credit ratings, as indicated in ESMA’s Credit Rating Agencies Annual Report 2013. The investigation took place between October 2013 and September 2014 and involved the four largest CRAs providing credit ratings on structured finance instruments in the EU, namely DBRS Ratings (DBRS), Fitch Ratings (Fitch), Moody’s Investors Service (MIS) and Standard & Poor’s (S&P). 
16/12/2014 2014/1525 Press Release- Improvements needed in CRAs surveillance of structured finance credit ratings , Press Release PDF
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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.