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Who’s Certified to Operate as a Credit Ratings Agency in Europe?

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As part of the regulatory crackdown on ratings agency in the post-crisis financial markets environment (and in accordance with Article 18(3) of the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is required to publish a list of all credit ratings agencies that have been registered or certified to operate in the European region. Currently, there are nine on the list that have registered since November last year, six of whom are registered in Germany.

In addition to the six firms registered in Germany, the list includes one Japanese credit ratings firm that is certified to operate under the watchful eye of the French regulator, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). The other two are registered in Bulgaria and in Greece, and under the jurisdiction of the respective national market regulators.

Back in 2009, the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) was charged with setting in place a new reporting regime for ratings agencies to provide information on the historical performance of their credit ratings issued to the regulator, which would then be published in a central repository. ESMA, in July this year, then assumed responsibility for the supervision of the European ratings agencies and these firms must now therefore register with the European level regulator in order to conduct business in the region and for their ratings to be used for regulatory purposes.

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