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.