Joint statement on rating agencies by Commissioners Barnier and Rehn
"As you know, we don't comment each notation an agency gives. What we can say is that we are confident in the actions the Greek government is carrying out as part of its reform package. Greece achieved an impressive fiscal adjustment in 2010 and is on track to meet the targets of the ambitious reform programme agreed with the EU and IMF.
You'll recall that one of the first actions taken at the height of the crisis was to start regulating credit rating agencies. Last year, we improved the framework by requiring that credit rating agencies be supervised directly by ESMA, the new European authorities for markets. The full implementation of the 2009 Regulation including effective supervision by ESMA of ratings methodology and ratings quality is a big improvement already.
But as we have often said, that is not enough. And a further overhaul of rules applicable to credit rating agencies is necessary.
It is clear the objectives of reform will be:
- to seek diversity in this heavily concentrated sector,
- reduce the overreliance on ratings,
- improve sovereign debt rating,
- deal with remaining conflicts of interest
Last November, we launched a wide consultation on the subject which has now closed and more than 100 replies were received. Our services are now working as quickly as possible to analyse these to help us define our package of proposals, due before the end of the summer. We also look forward to the report led by Mr Klinz in the European Parliament to inform our approach.
We can assure you the reforms will be fundamental and tackle the numerous problems we know exist.
We are closely looking too at what the Americans are doing to ensure no regulatory discrepancy.
The last few days highlight once again how important a more and better regulated environment for ratings are."