ESMA, the direct supervisor of credit rating agencies (CRAs) in EU, has registered A.M. Best (EU) Rating Services B.V. as a CRA under the CRA Regulation, with effect from December 03, 2018. A.M. Best (EU) Rating Services B.V. is based in the Netherlands and intends to issue corporate ratings for insurance undertakings and corporate issuers that are not considered a financial institution or an insurance undertaking.
The CRA Regulation seeks to ensure that credit ratings issued in the EU meet minimum standards of quality, transparency, and independence by providing that only companies registered by ESMA as CRAs may lawfully issue credit ratings. These credit ratings can be used for regulatory purposes by credit institutions, investment firms, insurance, and reinsurance undertakings, institutions for occupational retirement provision, management companies, investment companies, alternative investment fund managers, and central counterparties. To be registered as a CRA, a company must be able to demonstrate to ESMA that it complies with the requirements of the CRA Regulation, which covers the:
- Governance of CRAs and the management of conflicts of interest
- Development and application of methodologies for assessing credit risk
- Disclosure of information to ESMA and to market participants
Once registered, CRAs are subject to ongoing monitoring and supervision by ESMA to ensure that they continue to meet the conditions for registration. ESMA will impose sanctions and/or penalties where it finds that a CRA has failed to meet its obligations under the CRA Regulation. The total number of CRAs registered in the EU is 27 CRAs. Among the 27 registered CRAs, three operate under a group structure, totaling 17 legal entities in the EU, which means that the total number of CRA entities registered in EU is 41.
Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, Securities, CRA, CRA Regulation, A.M. Best Rating Services, ESMA
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