LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) on Monday said it had fined five Nordic banks 2.48 million euros ($2.91 million) for issuing credit ratings without authorisation from the regulator.
ESMA said Danske Bank, Nordea Bank, SEB , Svenska Handelsbanken and Swedbank were each fined 495,000 euros.
The banks had issued credit reports to clients that provided opinions on different entities and underlying financial instruments, which ESMA found met the definition of a credit rating under the Credit Rating Agencies Regulation (CRAR), it said in a statement.
ESMA said no bank had acquired authorisation before issuing the reports, which were mainly produced between June 2011 and August 2016. SEB continued to issue the research until May 2018.
The fine has taken into account that the banks had committed the infringement for more than six months but had also voluntarily took measures to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, ESMA said.
The five banks may appeal the decision, the statement said.
$1 = 0.8526 euros Reporting by Maiya Keidan, editing by Silvia Aloisi and Louise Heavens