(Removes reference to Thursday in lead)
HELSINKI, March 14 (Reuters) - Four Nordic banks had fines worth 1.98 million euros ($2.24 million) for issuing unapproved credit ratings cancelled by the board of appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities.
The Nordic region’s largest bank Nordea Bank as well as SEB, Svenska Handelsbanken and Swedbank had appealed a decision from last July by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to fine each 495,000 euros for issuing credit ratings without authorisation from the regulator.
The board of appeal on Wednesday upheld ESMA’s decision that the banks had issued illicit credit ratings but found the infringements were not committed negligently and therefore decided to revoke the fines.
“It is clear that issuers of credit research can no longer include ‘shadow ratings’ in their credit research reports if those ratings use the AAA, BBB+ type formulations used by the credit rating agencies,” Julia Dixon, partner at law firm Linklaters said in a statement, referring to agencies like Moody’s, S&P and Fitch.
The unauthorised ratings were mainly produced between 2011 and 2016. (Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)