Asset-Backed Bond Group Hires S&P’s Bell for Quality Label Drive

Issuers of asset-backed securities hired Ian Bell, the former head of European structured finance at Standard & Poor’s, to lead the push for minimum standards in European securitizations.

Bell oversees the Prime Collateralized Securities project, which grants quality assured status to asset-backed notes that meet certain criteria, the Association for Financial Markets in Europe and the European Financial Services Roundtable lobby groups said in an e-mailed statement.

The industry groups developed the quality brand to revive sales of asset-backed securities in Europe, which have failed to recover to pre-credit crisis levels. Structured-finance issuance fell by 50 percent in the first quarter from a year ago as banks took advantage of cheap funding through the European Central Bank’s longer-term refinancing operations, Fitch Ratings said last month.

The first PCS label is expected to be granted by the end of this year, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Esteban Duarte in Madrid at eduarterubia@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Armstrong at parmstrong10@bloomberg.net

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