Recognized Credit Rating Agencies

There are almost 200 countries in the world. Many countries do not have specific regulations on rating activities, but most industrialized countries do have laws on Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs). Credit Rating Agencies are required to get registered, licensed, recognized or certified.

Until the Credit Rating Agency Reform Act of 2006 was introduced in the United States, there was no really orderly procedure for recognizing Credit Rating Agencies. However, if ratings are used in law to regulate certain issues, provisions are also required as to which agencies may issue the relevant ratings.

Certain authorities are charged with administering the rules of their countries with respect to the practices of Credit Rating Agencies in determining credit ratings for the protection of users of credit ratings and in the public interest. They are promoting accuracy in credit ratings issued by Credit Rating Agencies. The authorities are working to ensure that credit ratings are not unduly influenced by conflicts of interest and that Credit Rating Agencies provide greater transparency and disclosure to investors.

In support of this mission, competent authorities conduct examinations of Credit Rating Agencies to assess and promote compliance with statutory and other requirements.

  • They monitor the activities of Credit Rating Agencies,
  • conduct outreach with investors, issuers, and other industry participants,
  • develop and administer rules affecting Credit Rating Agencies; and
  • provide guidance generally with respect to the regulatory initiatives related to Credit Rating Agencies.

The competent authorities publish lists of the Credit Rating Agencies that they have recognized or certified. For various reasons, these are not always visible. Have a look at what happened on Monday, July 27, 2020 @ 09:00 – the relevant page of the website of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) was not accessible to everybody. No matter, which device and which browser you are using, you would not get their information online.

We therefore have lists of the data available to us here. In contrast to the official lists, our ones include links to Credit Rating Agencies’ websites. This makes it easy to get an overview of all recognized agencies and to contact Credit Rating Agencies. Please ask us for updates.

To find the Credit Rating Agencies recognized in the respective jurisdictions, follow the links in this table.

ArgentinaComisión Nacional de Valores (CNV)
AustraliaAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
AustriaEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
BangladeshBangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC)
BelgiumEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
BrazilComissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM)
BulgariaEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
CanadaCanadian Securities Administrators
ChinaPeople’s Bank of China (PBoC), National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors (NAFMII), China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), National Development and Regulatory Commission (NDRC), China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC)
Costa RicaSuperintendencia General de Valores (SUGEVAL)
CroatiaEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
Czech RepublicEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
DenmarkEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
EcuadorSuperintendencia de Compañías, Valores y Seguros (SC)
El Salvador…more
EstoniaEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
FinlandEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
FranceEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
GermanyEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
GreeceEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
HungaryEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
IndiaSecurities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
IndonesiaOtoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK)/Financial Services Authority (FSA) …more
IranSecurities & Exchange Organization of Iran (SEO)
IrelandEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
ItalyEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
JapanFinancial Services Agency
LatviaEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
LithuaniaEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
LuxembourgEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
MalaysiaSuruhanjaya Sekuriti Securities Commission Malaysia (SC)
MaltaEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
MexicoComisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV)
NetherlandsEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
PakistanSecurities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)
PolandEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
PortugalEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
Republic of CyprusEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
República Dominicana…more
RomaniaEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
RussiaCentral Bank of the Russian Federation, Bank of Russia (CBR)
Saudi ArabiaCapital Market Authority of Saudi Arabia (CMA)
SingaporeMonetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
SlovakiaEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
SloveniaEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
South AfricaFinancial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)
SpainEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
SwedenEuropean Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
SwitzerlandSwiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA
ThailandSecurities and Exchange Commission Thailand (SEC)
TurkeyCapital Markets Board of Turkey (CMB)
UkraineNational Securities and Stock Market Commission (NSSMC)
United States of AmericaU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (US SEC NRSRO)
UruguayBanco Central de Uruguay (BCU)

The table refers to the statutory rating requirements mandated by laws and regulations. In practice, however, ratings are often “encouraged”, “advised” and/or “requested by investors”. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. RATING EVIDENCE has detailed information for a number of other countries. It should also be borne in mind that in some countries the regulation of credit rating agencies is not left to just one authority, but rather that a plurality of authorities within the same jurisdiction recognize credit rating agencies for different purposes according to different standards. Here are some examples:

  • Bond Public Offering,
  • Bond Private Placement,
  • Debt instrument other than bond (Medium Term Notes, Commercial Paper)
  • Bank Loan,
  • Asset Backed Security Issue,
  • Public Issue of Equity Shares,
  • Banks,
  • Non-bank Financial Institution (before IPO),
  • Non-Life & Life Insurance Company,
  • Microfinance Banks (MFBs),
  • Offshore Bond Market/External Commercial Borrowings,
  • Public Deposits of Non-Banking Finance Companies,
  • Security Receipts issued by Asset Reconstruction Companies,
  • Micro & Small Enterprises (MSE),
  • Grading of Maritime Training Institutes,
  • Parallel Marketers of Liquified Petroleum Gas/Superior Kerosene Oil,
  • Energy Services Companies,
  • Renewable Energy Service Companies (RESCOs),
  • System Integrators (SI),
  • Structured Products
  • Modaraba Certificates of Musharaka.

Please see each country’s page for details.


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