The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is about to implement new regulations that could increase the number of companies assessing whether companies can pay insurance claims, make bond payments and meet other obligations.
The SEC recently posted a copy of the final version of the new credit rating agency regulations on its Web site.
The final rule, which will create a new system for registering “nationally recognized statistical rating organizations,” implements the federal Credit Rating Agency Reform Act of 2006:
Some sections of the new final rule will to take effect June 18, and some will take effect June 26.
The SEC has been using a complicated, case-by-case system to register NRSROs. In addition to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service, New York, and Moody’s Investors Service, New York, the SEC has recognized only 4 other NRSROs.
Once the new rules take effect, the number of NRSROs could increase to about 30, SEC officials estimate in the preamble to the proposed regulation.
The SEC released the proposed rules in September 2006.
SEC officials responded to comments on the proposed rules by making a number of significant changes.
The final rule, for example, will, like the proposed the rule, require NRSROs to comply with a statutory requirement to show that they make their ratings available to the public for free, or for a “reasonable fee.”