Credit Rating Changes?
New Requirements and Oversight of Credit Rating Agencies
1) New Office, New Focus at SEC: Creates an Office of Credit Ratings at the SEC with its own compliance staff and the authority to fine agencies. The SEC is required to examine Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations at least once a year and make key findings public.
2) Disclosure: Requires Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations to disclose their methodologies, their use of third parties for due diligence efforts, and their ratings track record.
3) Independent Information: Requires agencies to consider information in their ratings that comes to their attention from a source other than the organizations being rated if they find it credible.
4) Conflicts of Interest: Prohibits compliance officers from working on ratings, methodologies, or sales.
5) Liability: Investors could bring private rights of action against ratings agencies for a knowing or reckless failure to conduct a reasonable investigation of the facts or to obtain analysis from an independent source.
6) Right to Deregister: Gives the SEC the authority to deregister an agency for providing bad ratings over time.
7) Education: Requires ratings analysts to pass qualifying exams and have continuing education.
8) Reduce Reliance on Ratings: Requires the GAO study and requires regulators to remove unnecessary references to NRSRO ratings in regulations.