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Credit Raters to Face New Conflict Curbs Under SEC Rules

Credit-rating firms, whose lapses played a central role in the 2008 financial crisis, face broader restrictions on conflicts of interest under rules adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The rules, approved on a 3-2 vote today, require firms including Moody’s Investors Service, McGraw Hill Financial Inc.’s Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings Ltd. to ensure they insulate analysts from pressure to please bond issuers, who pay for the ratings. The rules include a strict prohibition on allowing sales motives to influence grades.