Standard & Poors announced it would take 27 new steps to improve consumer confidence in credit ratings.
The unit of McGraw-Hill Co. said it will appoint an ombudsman to examine potential conflicts of interest among analysts, and an outside firm will review compliance and governance processes, according to Reuters.
Critics have said that rating agencies like S&P, Moodys Investors Service and Fitch Ratings assigned high ratings to hundreds of billions of dollars in securities linked to low-quality debt, only to rapidly downgrade those same securities when the market dropped.
S&P said it will place new emphasis on factors such as liquidity, volatility and other what if scenarios of market disruptions.
The actions we are taking will serve the public interest by building greater confidence in credit ratings and supporting the efficient operation of the global credit markets, and minimize even the potential for perceived conflicts of interest, said Deven Sharma, president of S&P.