(Adds Fitch reaction)
LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) - The European Union’s securities watchdog has fined Fitch Ratings 1.38 million euros ($1.5 million) for breaches of the bloc’s credit rating rules.
The European Securities and Markets Authority said it found some senior analysts in Fitch transmitted information about some sovereign ratings to senior people in a Fitch parent company before it was made public.
“Further, ESMA found that Fitch failed to have proper internal controls in place to ensure it provided a rated entity with the minimum time period to consider and respond to a rating action before making it public,” ESMA said.
“Fitch failed to allow Slovenia 12 hours (the minimum required period at the time) to consider and respond to the downgrade of its sovereign rating in 2012, as required under the CRA Regulation.”
Fitch said the infringements occurred several years ago.
“While none of these infringements ultimately impacted the outcome of our ratings, Fitch subsequently examined and further enhanced its processes to better avoid such infringements,” Fitch said in a statement.
The 2007-09 financial crisis triggered three sets of European Union rules to regulate credit rating agencies, making ESMA their supervisor in the EU.
$1 = 0.9082 euros Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Rachel Armstrong/Ruth Pitchford