By Marc Jones
LONDON (Reuters) -The European Union’s securities watchdog has fined S&P Global Ratings 1.1 million euros ($1.19 million) for publishing a number of credit scores before the relevant securities had been issued.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) also issued a public notice for breaches of credit rating agencies regulations.
“Publishing a credit rating before the issuance of the rated securities may result in harm to the issuer, to investors and more generally to the orderly functioning of the financial markets,” said ESMA chair Verena Ross.
ESMA said the problem had happened on six occasions, blaming a failure of S&P’s “internal control mechanisms”.
Other rule breaches included failure to disclose on a “non-selective basis and in a timely manner” why it had withdrawn six ratings between 2019 and 2021, as well as a failure to submit up-to-date rating information to ESMA.
“All breaches were found to have resulted from negligence on the part of S&P,” ESMA said.
A statement from S&P, which can appeal against the decision, said that it was pleased to have concluded the matter.
ESMA has not previously fined S&P but did give the company and its French subsidiary a public warning in 2014 after it mistakenly announced a downgrade of France’s sovereign credit rating in 2011 during the euro zone debt crisis.
($1 = 0.9234 euros)
(Reporting by Marc JonesAdditional reporting by Huw Jones and Andres GonzalezEditing by David Goodman)