From the Regulators

Global regulators seek better understanding of other CRA products and services

By James Langton |

Global securities regulators are seeking to understand the work that rating agencies do in addition to publishing traditional credit ratings.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) said Wednesday it is looking for information about the products and services that rating agencies provide along with traditional, publicly disclosed credit ratings. This may include ratings that are private, provisional or prospective; credit assessments; and other sorts of research.

IOSCO says that investors may use these sorts of products to help assess creditworthiness; to understand the impact that a hypothetical or proposed transaction would have on a traditional credit rating; or, to understand how a rating agency would ultimately rate a prospective new issuance.

To get a better understanding of this side of the rating industry, IOSCO's committee on credit rating agencies is undertaking a series of information gathering exercises. The first stage of this project involves a survey of the rating agencies themselves, which IOSCO says will serve as a base for discussions in this area. The second stage will focus on gathering information on how issuers, investors and others use these products and services.

IOSCO is seeking responses to the initial survey by March 23.