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

June 12 (Bloomberg) -- 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.

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