Fitch Ratings formally reviewed 99% of its U.S. structured finance ratings over the past 12 months as of August 2010, the rating agency said today.   

Fitch said the reviews was conducted on the back of  rule changes made by the National Association  of  Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) that only allow for U.S. insurers to use structured finance ratings from acceptable rating organizations in certain risk based capital calculations. The ratings are  only acceptable if it can be confirmed that the rating has been reviewed within  the  past  12  months.

"Investors  and  regulators  have become increasingly focused on confirming that ratings are not only informative but current," said Doug Murray, group managing  director and  head  of  global  structured  finance  business relationship management  for  Fitch.  "Increased  cost  of capital can be caused  by  any  number  of  factors, but stale structured finance ratings should not be one of them."

The new European Union guidelines also requires all registered credit rating agencies to demonstrate that ratings have  been  reviewed  within  the  previous  12  months. 

Fitch applied for registration under the European Union Regulation on Credit Rating Agencies in August 2010, and is on schedule to meet this review requirement by August 2011.

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