About the Office of Credit Ratings
July 31, 2012
In July 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank Act"), which amended Section 15E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to enhance the regulation, accountability, and transparency of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations or “NRSROs.”
The Dodd-Frank Act mandated the creation of the Office of Credit Ratings ("OCR") in support of the Commission’s mission to protect investors, facilitate capital formation, and maintain fair, orderly and efficient markets. OCR was established in June 2012 with the appointment of its Director, Thomas J. Butler, and is located in New York and Washington, D.C.
The Office is charged with administering the rules of the Commission with respect to the practices of NRSROs in determining credit ratings for the protection of users of credit ratings and in the public interest; promoting accuracy in credit ratings issued by NRSROs; and working to ensure that credit ratings are not unduly influenced by conflicts of interest and that NRSROs provide greater transparency and disclosure to investors.
In support of this mission, OCR conducts examinations of NRSROs to assess and promote compliance with statutory and Commission requirements; monitors the activities of NRSROs, conducts outreach with investors, issuers, and other industry participants; develops and administers rules affecting NRSROs; and provides guidance generally with respect to the Commission’s regulatory initiatives related to NRSROs. OCR also liaises with domestic and foreign regulators on credit rating agency initiatives to facilitate regulatory cohesion and enhance the Commission’s role in the global regulatory environment.
OCR’s executive offices include the Office of the Director, Deputy Director, and Managing Executive. OCR staff has expertise in, among other areas, structured finance, corporate finance, municipal finance, financial institutions, insurance companies, and credit rating agencies.