INCRA Goes To Brussels
WASHINGTON, DC/BRUSSELS (June 5, 2012) - After unveiling its proposal for an international non-profit credit rating agency (INCRA) at its annual financial conference in April, the Bertelsmann Foundation has launched an effort to get policymakers to put the proposal on their list of action items. As part of that effort, Annette Heuser, the Foundation’s executive director, held talks in early June with representatives of the European institutions based in Brussels.
One result of her discussions was the realization of a change in tone in Brussels: Policymakers are no longer wedded to their initial idea, following the downgrading of some European sovereign debt, of creating a European credit rating agency (CRA). An increasing number of European decision-makers has concluded that a purely European CRA is no solution to a perceived loss of these agencies’ credibility. Rather a global organization is needed, which explains why the Foundation’s INCRA proposal piqued much interest at a June 4 gathering co-hosted by the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Brussels office and the European Policy Centre.
“The Europeans have a unique opportunity to build an international coalition, possibly within the framework of the G20, to establish such a global CRA,” said Heuser, who oversaw the proposal’s development. “INCRA would allow greater competition in a strongly oligopolistic market and increase the quality and transparency of sovereign ratings.”
The Bertelsmann Foundation plans further meetings with political and business leaders to discuss INCRA and determine if the will exists to make the organization a reality.