IOSCO Statement Of Principles Regarding The Activities Of Credit Rating Agencies
The Principles aim at addressing the main issues of concern arising from the activities of credit rating agencies (CRAs). Firstly, they underline the importance of the quality and integrity of the rating process and state that CRAs should endeavor to issue opinions that help reduce the asymmetry of information among borrowers, lenders and other market participants. Furthermore, the Principles deal with the issue of independence and conflicts of interest and stress that CRA ratings decisions should be independent and free from political or economic pressures and from conflicts of interest arising due to the CRA's ownership structure, business or financial activities, or the financial interests of the CRA's employees. CRAs should, as far as possible, avoid activities, procedures or relationships that may compromise or appear to compromise the independence and objectivity of the credit rating operations. Moreover, they emphasise the transparency and timeliness of ratings disclosure by requiring that CRAs should make disclosure and transparency an objective in their ratings activities. Finally, in relation to the confidentiality of information, CRAs are asked to maintain in confidence all non-public information communicated to them by any issuer, or its agents, under the terms of a confidentiality agreement or otherwise under a mutual understanding that the information is shared confidentially.