EU to tackle ratings agencies

9th July 2008, Comments 0 comments

European finance ministers are calling for international rating agencies to be listed officially and watched over by an official body.

9 July 2008

BRUSSELS - International rating agencies should be listed in an official register and watched over by an official body, European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday said.

The proposals, voiced by French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, came almost exactly a year after a crisis in the US market for badly- secured mortgages triggered a global financial storm, pushing banks and building societies to the brink of collapse.

In the wake of the storm, officials questioned how it came about that the agencies, whose job is to analyse the creditworthiness and stability of governments and financial institutions, had not warned markets of the possibility of a crash.

The question has frequently been raised at EU finance meetings in recent months.

At Tuesday's meeting, the last before the EU's summer break, EU Internal Markets Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said that the EU executive would in October make a legal proposal on how to deal with rating agencies in the future.

[dpa / Expatica]

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