The Great Ratings Debate Continues

Controversy over how the major credit ratings agencies operate broke out again at a conference hosted by the Bond Market Association earlier this year.

Despite a BMA poll that revealed an overwhelming percentage (82 percent) of the 41 issuers and 51 investors surveyed felt they had a good relationship with the rating agencies, delegates had many complaints, particularly around cost and the lack of competition.

"We have three ratings and have to pay three agencies," said Herman Agneessens, chief financial officer and chief risk officer at KBC Group in Brussels. "Does it bring added value to have three? I'm not sure. Moreover, we have seen the

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