SEC Issues Reports on Credit Rating Agencies’ Performance

Last Monday, December 28th, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two annual staff reports on credit rating agencies that are registered as Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (“NRSROs”). These reports include the Annual Examination Report and the Annual Report to Congress. According to the SEC’s press release, they found “that all of the NRSROs have enhanced their understanding of their obligations as regulated entities and that at many of the firms, operational improvements made in prior years are being further integrated and enhanced.”

The reports also note that “certain smaller NRSROs have continued to increase their market share, particularly for credit ratings of asset-backed securities”… and discuss “new requirements for NRSROs that took effect in June to address internal controls, conflicts of interest, disclosure of credit rating performance statistics, procedures to protect the integrity and transparency of rating methodologies, disclosures to promote the transparency of credit ratings, and standards for training, experience, and competence of credit analysts.”

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