AFP again leads the news with its announcement of the development of standard practices for credit rating agencies. The standard aims to restore confidence among issuers, credit rating agencies, investors and regulators who oversee the credit rating process.
The announcement further shows AFP is at the forefront of issues important to the finance and treasury professional. It is committed to a leading role in representing and enhancing the profession on critical capital market issues.
The Rating Agency Code of Standard Practices includes recommendations to improve the transparency of the rating process, protect non-public information that is provided to credit rating agencies, protect against conflicts of interest, address the issue of unsolicited ratings, and improve communication with issuers and other market participants.
The issue of credibility and reliability of credit rating agencies has become an important concern in the past several years, in light of the scandals involving Parmalat, Enron, WorldCom and others. In November 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission conducted hearings on rating agencies and the use of credit ratings under Federal securities laws. AFP presented the results of its member survey, "Rating Agencies Survey: Accuracy, Timeliness, and Regulation" at the hearing.
Joining AFP are the United Kingdom's Association of Corporate Treasurers and France's Association Française des Trésoriers d'Entreprise. The groups are all considered leaders in their geographic regions and collectively represent more than 18,500 corporate treasury and finance professionals.
Articles about AFP and the code of standard practices have appeared in publications across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Forbes, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, and San Diego Union Tribune.