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May 18, 2021

The four requirements that guarantee the independence of credit ratings

Following the economic crisis of 2008, in which the major rating agencies played a more than questionable role, the European Union established rigorous legislation, the toughest in the world, to ensure the independence and objectivity of their ratings.

According to European regulations, in order to operate in the common territory and be registered by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the agencies must meet a series of requirements, which can be summarised in four requirements, which are constantly monitored:

  1.  Objectivity: ESMA verifies that the rating methodology used by INBONIS is rigorous, systematic, continuous and subject to validation based on historical experience.
  2. Independence: In order to achieve and maintain its rating, INBONIS has to demonstrate that its rating work is not subject to political influences and economic pressures. Among other aspects, ESMA checks the following factors: ownership and organisational structure, financial resources, staff experience and corporate governance.
  3.  Ongoing review: The European regulator verifies that INBONIS’ credit ratings are reviewed on an ongoing basis, adapting to changes over time and changes in market conditions. At a minimum, the agencies review their ratings once a year.
  4.  Transparency and market disclosure: the principles of the methodology used for issuing credit ratings are publicly available, so that all potential users can judge whether this methodology is consistent.