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Weak attempt to rein in credit rating agencies won't stop speculative frenzy


16 Jan 2013


EU Priorities 2020
Euro & Finance

Strasbourg 15/01/13

Weak attempt to rein in credit rating agencies won't stop speculative frenzy
GUE/NGL MEP Marisa Matias has said that a proposal to amend an existing Directive on credit rating agencies in an attempt to reduce their domination does little to meet this goal.

Commenting on the Parliament's draft report on the plan, Matias said: "Whilst the report makes some good progress and improves on the Commission's original proposal, it does nothing to tackle the fundamental problem that gave rise to the crisis: the fact that the Directive remains built on the existing model where the same people who need the ratings are paying the credit rating agencies for them. As a result, credit rating agencies work more like advertising agencies and are not capable of carrying out rigorous independent assessments."

"The rating of sovereign debt should also be banned," she added. "This proposal simply changes a few things so that everything can stay the same."

GUE/NGL MEP Jürgen Klute also commented: "We need to restructure agencies as they can't bring to bear any political influence as they did during the crisis. They need to focus on their core task of helping consumers and investors. The rotation of agencies would be a good idea, as would a European Rating Index."

The proposals to change the existing rules were first set out by the Commission in November 2011 before MEPs on the Parliament's Economic Committee voted through its amendments to the plans in June 2012. Now all MEPs will vote on the dossier in plenary tomorrow following today's first reading debate.

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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