Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
A.M. Best Europe - Rating Services Limited (AMBERS) has confirmed that it has obtained External Credit Assessment Institution (ECAI) status under new European Union (EU) regulations, which came into force in January 2014.
This follows the adoption in June 2013 of the EU legislative package known as the Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV), which confers ECAI status on all credit rating agencies registered or certified in the EU.
ECAIs play a significant role in the standardised approach and securitisation framework of prudential regulation through the mapping of each of their credit assessments to corresponding risks. The European Banking Authority (EBA), together with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), is to conduct this mapping exercise, which is expected to be completed by July 2014. AMBERS anticipates that this will then enable its ratings to be used for risk weighting purposes for banking regulatory capital and insurance regulatory capital under the Solvency II regime once implemented.
Roger Sellek, chief executive officer - A.M. Best EMEA & Asia- Pacific, said: "ECAI status helps to reinforce A.M. Best's position not only in the European (re)insurance marketplace, but also in the broader financial markets within the EU."
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