SEC Proposes New Credit Rating Rules

This week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (”SEC”) issued proposed rules that will have a great impact on the integrity of credit ratings going forward. The quality of credit ratings were highly suspect in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008. Many of the greatest losses incurred by financial institutions, municipalities and pension funds resulted from investments in securities that were touted as “investment grade”. However, as we know now, those investments were anything but. Now, the SEC will require Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (”NRSROs”) like Moody’s and Standard & Poors to adhere to stricter controls and disclose more information about how the ratings are derived. The SEC issued the following statement supporting the approval of these new rules.

“In passing the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress noted that credit ratings applied to structured financial products proved inaccurate and contributed significantly to the mismanagement of risks by financial institutions and investors,” said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. “Our proposed rules are intended to strengthen the integrity and improve the transparency of credit ratings.”

Under the SEC’s proposal, NRSROs would be required to:

1. Report on internal controls.
2. Protect against conflicts of interest.
3. Establish professional standards for credit analysts.
4. Publicly provide – along with the publication of the credit rating – disclosure about the credit rating and the methodology used to determine it.
5. Enhance their public disclosures about the performance of their credit ratings.

Let’s hope these rules help to restore integrity to the marketplace and help investors better understand the risks involved in a given investment.


About Wheelhouse Advisors
Wheelhouse Advisors LLC is the publisher of The ERM Current™, an online publication and blog dedicated to providing the latest updates on current trends in Enterprise Risk Management & Control. Wheelhouse Advisors provides cost-effective Enterprise Risk Management & Control solutions to both large and mid-size corporations. To learn more about Wheelhouse Advisors, please visit our web site at

One Response to SEC Proposes New Credit Rating Rules

  1. Pingback: SEC Proposes New Credit Rating Rules « The ERM Current™ |

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