From the Regulators

Regulators considering possible alternatives for financial institutions

By James Langton |

European financial regulators are seeking to further reduce the reliance on credit ratings by financial institutions.

The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities, which includes banking, securities and insurance regulators, published a discussion paper Tuesday on the use of credit ratings by financial intermediaries in the European Union (EU). The regulators say they aim to issue a first draft of possible alternatives to credit ratings in the second quarter of 2015.

The discussion paper sets out a series of questions to banks, other financial institutions, and intermediaries concerning their reliance on credit ratings; outside of the reliance on ratings that is required by the existing regulatory framework. It also seeks input from national regulators on the issue.

"Credit institutions and investment firms should be encouraged to put in place internal procedures to make their own credit risk assessment and should encourage investors to perform a due diligence exercise," the paper notes.

The proposed alternatives will be based on both the feedback generated by the discussion paper, along with an independent study on the issue. Comments on the paper are due by Feb. 27, 2015.

The Joint Committee encompasses the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).