Credit Rating Agencies: stricter rules for sovereign debt rating. Jean-Paul Gauzès MEP
Jean-Paul Gauzès MEP, EPP Group Coordinator in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, today welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament of stricter rules concerning sovereign debt ratings by credit rating agencies at its plenary session in Strasbourg.
"Recent events in the financial markets have shown how sensitive sovereign debt rating can be. This Regulation on credit rating agencies will complement the already-existing one, especially on the issue of sovereign debt rating", said Jean-Paul Gauzès MEP.
"By establishing a calendar fixing dates when credit rating agencies can issue their ratings on sovereign debt, we have ensured that ratings do not come at the most inappropriate times. We also inserted limits on cross-shareholdings to ensure that conflict of interest does not impair the quality of ratings", Jean-Paul Gauzès said.
"MEPs have made sure that the agencies' civil liability is increased. In cases where an agency has committed, intentionally or with gross negligence, an infringement that has an impact on a credit rating, an investor or issuer may thus claim damages from that agency", he explained.
"Finally, we want to reduce market actors' over-reliance on ratings. This is why all regulated financial institutions, such as banks, insurance companies and investment fund managers will be required to develop their own rating capacities to enable them to prepare their own risk assessments", he explained.
"During the negotiations with the Member States, my colleagues and I were really surprised to see how Member States were reluctant towards a better regulation of credit rating agencies. It is first and foremost thanks to the job done by Members of the European Parliament and by the European Commission that we managed to come up with this set of stricter rules for credit rating agencies", Jean-Paul Gauzès concluded.
Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 270 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.