Rating agencies defend issuer-pays model during UK hearing

Top representatives of the major credit rating agencies defended their 'issuer-pay' business models from questions over conflicts of interest and their ability to rate structured, banking and other credits during a Treasury Select Committee hearing in the UK parliament in January.

But they accepted that "assumptions" they had made over the future performance of RMBS and CDO securities had been incorrect.

Ian Bell, head of European structured finance at S&P, said: "When you look at the ratings of

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