S Amdt 3991 - Credit Rating Agency Board - National Key Vote

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Title: Credit Rating Agency Board

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt an amendment to S Amdt 3739 to S 3217 that requires the Securities and Exchange Commission, no later than 180 days after the date of enactment, to establish the Credit Rating Agency Board to select nationally recognized credit rating organizations to provide initial ratings of financial institutions that issue structured finance products.


Requires the Board evaluate multiple selection methods, including a lottery or rotating assignment system, to reduce the potential for a conflict of interest (Sec. 939D).


  • Prohibits issuers seeking an initial credit rating from requesting a rating from a specific credit rating organization (Sec. 939D).
  • Prohibits the Board from utilizing a selection method that would allow for the solicitation or consideration of the credit rating organization that is preferred by the financial institution (Sec. 939D).
  • Requires credit rating organizations to charge issuers a "reasonable fee" for an initial credit rating, and authorizes the Board to establish rules on fees (Sec. 939D).
  • Requires the Board annually evaluate each credit rating organization, and specifies that such evaluation shall consider the following (Sec. 939D):
    • Result of the annual examination by the Office of Credit Ratings, as required by this Act;
    • Surveillance of credit ratings conducted by the credit rating organization after the ratings are issued;
    • How the rated instruments performed;
    • Accuracy of the ratings provided by the credit rating organization as compared to other organizations;
    • Effectiveness of methodologies used by credit rating organizations; and
    • Any additional factors the Board determines to be relevant.
  • Requires the Board initially be composed of an odd number of members, selected by the Commission, from related industries as follows (Sec. 393D):
    • Not less than a majority of members from the investor industry, provided they do not represent issuers;
    • Not less than 1 member of the issuer industry;
    • Not less than 1 member of the credit rating agency industry; and
    • Not less than 1 independent member.
  • Establishes 4 year terms for Board members, and requires the Commission to to establish "fair procedures" for nominating and electing future Board members (Sec. 393D).
  • Authorizes the Commission to increase the size of the Board to a larger odd number and adjust the term length, but prohibits the Commission from amending the composition of members (Sec. 393D).