Dodd-Frank Act Rulemaking Update: SEC Proposal for Removal of Certain References to Credit Ratings in Rules 101 and 102 of Regulation M

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On April 27, 2011, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) proposed amendments to five rules and one form under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) to remove all references to credit ratings and substitute alternative standards of creditworthiness. Under the amendments as proposed, credit ratings references in Exchange Act Rule 15c3-1, Rule 15c3-3, Rules 101 and 102 of Regulation M, and Rule 10b-10, and Exchange Act Form X-17A-5, Part IIB, would be removed and, in certain cases, replaced with new criteria as required by Section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Act. In conjunction with this rulemaking, the SEC also proposes to amend Exchange Act Rule 17a-4 relating to broker-dealer recordkeeping.

The SEC also requested comment on proposed potential alternative standards of creditworthiness for purposes of Exchange Act Section 3(a)(41), which defines the term “mortgage related security” and Section 3(a)(53), which defines the term “small business related security,” for the credit rating references deleted by Congress in Section 939(e) of the Dodd-Frank Act.

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