ESMA Approves Spread Research as a Credit Rating Agency

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has formally approved the registration of France’s Spread Research SAS as a credit rating agency (CRA) under Article 16 of the CRA Regulation. The registration takes effect from 1 July.

Spread Research registration as a CRA means that its credit ratings can be used for regulatory purposes under EU legislation. A registered CRA must continue to comply, on an ongoing basis, with the regulatory requirements set out under the CRA Regulation.

ESMA, which was set up at the start of 2011 to work closely with other European supervisory authorities, is now responsible for the supervision of 22 registered and two certified CRAs in the EU. Amongst the 22 registered CRAs, three operate under a group structure, totalling 16 legal entities in the EU, which means that the total number of CRA entities registered in the EU is now 35.

ESMA’s supervisory mandate applies to all credit rating agencies established in the EU which issue credit ratings disclosed publicly or distributed by subscription that are used for regulatory purposes. The exercise of that supervision includes the possibility to impose sanctions and other forms of penalties in case of breaches of the requirements established by the regulation. Those requirements include the obligation to be registered by ESMA before engaging in rating activities.

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