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EU watchdog allows U.S. ratings use in Europe

03/15/2012 | 06:21am US/Eastern

The European Union's markets watchdog said on Thursay it would allow the continued use of U.S. credit ratings in the 27-nation bloc.

The decision will be a relief for banks in Europe, large users of ratings from the United States, which feared they could face big costs from having to find alternative ratings for themselves and their products.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said it had ruled that the regulatory regime for credit rating agencies in the United States, as well as Singapore, Canada and Hong Kong, are in line with rules in the EU.

The ruling was necessary for the continued use of ratings from those countries in the EU.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Will Waterman)

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