The Italian authorities launch investigations against world renowned financial institutions

Police have raided the offices of Moody’s and Standards and Poor’s as part of an investigation into suspected 'irregularities'.

The chief prosecutor of Trani is leading the investigation into the agencies valuations of Itay’s debt and the effect that this had on markets.

Italy’s debt is equivalent to 118% of its GDP and is second only to Greece in the EU.

In a statement S&P said that the investigation had no basis and that, “we will strenuously defend our business, our reputation and the reputations of our analysts.”

“The ‘three sisters’: Standard and Poor’s, Moodys and Fitch are an errant danger to economic and financial state sovereignty,” said Elio Lannutti, President of Adusbef, a consumer group that instigated the investigations.

The chief prosecutor of Trani, a town on the Adriatic coast, launched two investigations into the ratings agencies. The first was opened in June of last year and relates to Moody’s valuations of Italian debt. The second was launched a few weeks ago and relates to S&P’s negative representation of Italy’s finances according to the Italian newspaper, Corriere del Mezzogiorno.