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ESMA carries out policy work in the area of Credit Rating Agencies in its role as the single supervisor of Credit Rating Agencies within the European Union.

Credit Rating Agencies Credit Rating Agencies - ESMA


    ESMA’s policy work in this area can derive from a wide number of areas, including the requirements of relevant pieces of EU legislation, requests from the European Commission or in response to the needs of Market Participants.  The most common forms which this work can take are:

    • Guidelines
    • Questions and Answers
    • Technical Advice
    • Technical Standards

    Regardless of the form of any work undertaken, ESMA’s policy work in this area is carried out in cooperation and consultation with the members of the CRA Technical Committee, which has representatives from the EU national competent authorities. 

    ESMA’s guidance under the CRA Regulation and ESMA's Technical Advice to the European Commission are available in the section Guidelines and Technical Standards.

    For Questions and Answers on the Implementation of the CRA 3 Regulation please see here:

    Market Share Calculation of EU Registered Credit Rating Agencies

    On an annual basis ESMA publishes its market share calculation for EU registered credit rating agencies (CRAs)

    This calculation is required by Article 8d of the CRA Regulation, which aims to stimulate competition in the credit rating industry by encouraging issuers and related third parties to appoint smaller CRAs.

    The market share calculation is designed to increase awareness of the different types of credit ratings offered by each registered CRA and to help issuers and related third parties considering appointing smaller CRAs.

    For the most recent Market Share Calculation please see here:

    Third Country Credit Rating Agencies

    If a non-EU CRA wants its ratings to be used for regulatory purposes in the EU (i.e. by EU financial institutions) the CRA Regulation provides for two alternatives, certification or endorsement. For more information on ESMA’s policy work in this area please see the non-EU CRAs page here.

    Should you have any comments or questions regarding ESMA’s work in this area please feel free to contact us via:

    International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)

    In addition, as part of its international cooperation ESMA contributes to the work of IOSCO Committee 6 on Credit Ratings.

    The Role of IOSCO C6 includes:

    • Develop principles and standards;
    • Coordinate discussions between the CRA Industry and Regulators;
    • Interpret IOSCO Cross Border Principles and IOSCO Code of Conduct for CRAs; and
    • Revise the IOSCO Code of Conduct for CRAs.


    Ongoing Work:

    The IOSCO Board gave in late 2014 C6 a mandate on Other CRA Products. The objective of the project is to gain a clearer understanding of those CRA products that differ from the traditional issuer-paid or subscriber paid credit ratings, but may be used by investors and others to make investment and other credit-related decisions.  C6 hopes to understand better how these other products are produced by CRAs and used by market participants to measure credit risk of issuers or securities.”[1]

    Committee 6 is attended by Policy Specialists and provides guidance to the CRA colleges with regards to the interpretation of the IOSCO Cross-Border Principles and the IOSCO Code of Conduct for CRAs

    For more information on the ongoing work of IOSCO Committee 6 please see the IOSCO website:


    [1] IOSCO Annual Report 2014