|Formed||1 January 2011|
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is a "European Union financial regulatory institution and "European Supervisory Authority, located in Paris.
ESMA replaced the "Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) on 1 January 2011. It is one of the three new European Supervisory Authorities set up within the "European System of Financial Supervisors.
ESMA works in the field of securities legislation and regulation to improve the functioning of "financial markets in Europe, strengthening "investor protection and co-operation between national competent authorities.
The idea behind ESMA is to establish an "EU-wide financial markets watchdog". One of its main tasks is to regulate "credit rating agencies. In 2010 credit rating agencies were criticized for the lack of transparency in their assessments and for a possible "conflict of interest. At the same time, the impact of the assigned ratings became significant for companies and banks but also states.