The European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) announced on Tuesday that it had imposed a total of 3.7 million euros in fines on five European entities of the American rating agency Moody’s for breaches of rules concerning the prevention of conflicts of interest.
The British branch of Moody’s received the highest fine (2.735 million euros), followed by the German entity (340,000 euros), the one based in France (280,000 euros) and finally the Italian and Spanish branches (174,000 euros). euros each).
These entities of the American rating agency are notably accused of having violated the ban on issuing new ratings when “a shareholder is from a rating agency and exceeds the ownership threshold of 10% and / or is a member of the board of directors of the rated entity ”, reveals Esma in a press release.
The European authority also noted a “failure to disclose conflicts of interest related to the 5% ownership threshold”, as well as “inadequate internal policies and procedures” to manage these conflicts of interest. According to her, “all the violations were found to be the result of negligence on the part of Moody’s.” “It is crucial, to ensure good independent ratings and to protect investors, that rating agencies carefully identify, then eliminate or manage and disclose conflicts of interest in order to avoid shareholder interference in the rating process. rating, ”she said.