Comments on ESMA decision and fine of EUR 495,000

On 11 July 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) decided that Danske Bank violated the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation by having published credit assessments (known as shadow ratings) without being registered as a credit rating agency. In this connection, Danske Bank received a fine of EUR 495,000.

ESMA’s decision is available here.

For several years, it has been standard practice in the Nordic markets for banks to make their own credit assessments, known as shadow ratings, for small businesses when these were raising bond loans. We abandoned that practice in August 2016 when ESMA pointed out that such practice could be in violation of the EU regulation applicable in the area. Now a decision has been made that the practice was in violation of the regulation, and we have received a fine, which we have accepted,” says Peter Rostrup-Nielsen, Executive Vice President, Danske Bank. “We apologise for having misinterpreted the rules. We consider it important to ensure that we comply with the rules applicable. Moreover, it is important to establish the need for rating small businesses when these are raising bonds loans. This being the case, we have teamed up with others in the market to set up an independent credit rating agency, Nordic Credit Rating AS, which will be charged with ratings in future.

Contact: Kenni Leth, Group Press Officer, tel. +45 45 14 14 00