Credit rating agencies (‘CRAs’) that operate in the EU will be interested to hear that on 30 March 2017, ESMA published an update to its Questions & Answers (Q&A) on the ‘CRA’ Regulation (Regulation 1060/2009, as amended in 2011 and 2013). The CRA Regulation requires CRAs within the EU to be registered and to comply with requirements relating to their independence and avoidance of conflicts of interest, their methodologies, their disclosures and their approach to sovereign debt. It also contains requirements on parties involved in securitisations in respect of the rating of structured finance instruments.

Further guidance on Article 10 of the CRA Regulation (covering Disclosure and Presentation of Credit Ratings) has been provided by way of an additional section to the Q&As, which can be found here.

The guidance will ensure that CRAs and rated entities are clear as to their roles and responsibilities under this provision by specifically confirming how much time a CRA should provide to a rated entity prior to the publication of a credit rating or rating outlook: 24 hours, at a minimum. It will also protect investors by ensuring the timely publication of credit ratings and rating outlooks “without delay”.