1. A credit rating agency shall disclose any credit rating or rating outlook, as well as any decision to discontinue a credit rating, on a non-selective basis and in a timely manner. In the event of a decision to discontinue a credit rating, the information disclosed shall include full reasons for the decision.
The first subparagraph shall also apply to credit ratings that are distributed by subscription.
2. Credit rating agencies shall ensure that credit ratings and rating outlooks are presented and processed in accordance with the requirements set out in Section D of Annex I and shall not present factors other than those related to the credit ratings.
2a. Until disclosure to the public of credit ratings, rating outlooks and information relating thereto, they shall be deemed to be inside information as defined in, and in accordance with, Directive 2003/6/EC.
Article 6(3) of that Directive shall apply mutatis mutandis to credit rating agencies as regards their duty of confidentiality and their obligation to maintain a list of persons who have access to their credit ratings, rating outlooks or related information before disclosure.
The list of persons to whom credit ratings, rating outlooks and information relating thereto are communicated before being disclosed shall be limited to persons identified by each rated entity for that purpose.
3. When a credit rating agency issues credit ratings for structured finance instruments, it shall ensure that rating categories that are attributed to structured finance instruments are clearly differentiated using an additional symbol which distinguishes them from rating categories used for any other entities, financial instruments or financial obligations.
4. A credit rating agency shall disclose its policies and procedures regarding unsolicited credit ratings.
6. A credit rating agency shall not use the name of ESMA or any competent authority in such a way that would indicate or suggest endorsement or approval by ESMA or any competent authority of the credit ratings or any credit rating activities of the credit rating agency.