The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today launched its new database, the European Ratings Platform (ERP), to provide access to free, up-to-date information on credit ratings and rating outlooks on its website. The ERP is an important element of ESMA’s work, following the financial crisis, to increase transparency around credit ratings and help investors make informed decisions.

The benefits of the new ERP include:

  • allowing investors and other users of ratings to easily compare all credit ratings that exist for a specific rated entity or instrument;
  • lowering information costs by centralising information; and
  • helping smaller and new credit rating agencies gain visibility in the market.

ESMA, since July 2011, has been solely responsible for the supervision, and registration, of credit rating agencies (CRAs) in the European Union (EU). The ERP holds all individual credit ratings and rating outlooks issued by CRAs registered and certified with ESMA except for those issued under the investor-pays model. Users can also access rating history details from 1 July 2015 onwards, press releases accompanying the rating issuances and research reports for sovereign ratings.

The rating information in the ERP is collected and published on a daily basis allowing for one daily update of the ERP to ensure it remains up-to-date. In providing granular information on specific rated entities and instruments, the ERP complements the statistical data on CRAs’ rating activities and rating performance which ESMA already publishes via its central repository database (CEREP).

The ERP is part of a suite of registers and data available on ESMA’s website which provide information to market participants, regulators and the general public.