Under the draft Credit Rating Agencies (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (the draft SI), the UK regulation of CRAs is transferred from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to the FCA. To support a smooth transition to the new regime for CRAs in the UK, and minimise disruption to the users of credit ratings, the draft SI includes two registration regimes for firms:

  • a conversion regime. This will allow CRAs established in the UK before exit day to convert their ESMA registration into registration with the FCA. CRAs certified with ESMA will also be able to extend their certification to the UK; and
  • a temporary registration regime. This will offer temporary registration to CRAs that apply for registration with the FCA before exit day, provided that they are a UK legal entity and are part of the same group as a CRA with an existing ESMA registration.

On 12 December 2018, the FCA updated its webpage on registering as a CRA to include two new forms (and accompanying notes):

  • draft application form for registration as a CRA. Firms intending to apply for full registration and to be included in the temporary registration regime should complete this form. This is complemented by notes to completing the form; and
  • conversion form for UK CRAswho wish to convert their current ESMA registered-status into FCA registration.

The forms can be submitted to the FCA by email from 7 January 2019.