(Adds Moody's response, more detail, background)
By Huw Jones
LONDON, June 1 The European Union's markets
regulator has fined Moody's 1.24 million euros ($1.4
million) for failing to give investors sufficient information
about how ratings on major institutions such as the EU were
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said
Moody's German and UK branches "negligently committed two
infringements of the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation regarding
their public announcement of certain ratings," ESMA said in a
statement on Thursday.
The failures relate to 19 ratings issued between June 2011
and December 2013 for nine international bodies, including the
European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the
European Stability Mechanism, the European Financial Stability
Facility, and the European Union itself.
Moody's gave too little public information about how the
ratings were arrived at, making it harder for investors to check
and verify they were sound and reliable, ESMA said, adding that
the only public information available was a press release.
Moody's said it acknowledged ESMA's findings and was pleased
that the matter was now closed.
"None of the findings related to the quality of our ratings
or the supranational methodology itself," Moody's European
spokesman Daniel Piels said. "ESMA also recognised that Moody’s
took steps in 2013 to ensure that similar infringements did not
occur in the future."
Moody's is one of the "Big Three" agencies that dominate the
issuance of ratings globally, along with S&P Global and
ESMA authorises and supervises credit rating agencies in the
EU and it has taken action against ratings agencies three times
previously, including a 1.38 million euro fine for Fitch.
($1 = 0.8905 euros)
(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by David Clarke)