Credit rating agency

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Credit rating agencies are independent institutions that assess the creditworthiness - or the credit risk - of issuers and provide credit ratings which are publicly available and used by investors, as well as analysts, as a guide for investment decisions.

Well known credit rating agencies include Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch.

Because of the trend towards regulation of credit rating agencies, some firms take care to avoid calling themselves a credit rating agency or to call their opinions credit ratings.

In the US, the key recognition of long standing for a credit rating agency is as a Nationally Recognised Statistical Rating Organisation (NRSRO) by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The European Union subsequently followed suit with the idea of registered and certified credit rating agencies being recognised by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

See also

Other resource

ESMA - Credit rating agencies