INCRA: The first international non-profit credit-rating agency for sovereign risk


The Bertelsmann Foundation developed its INCRA (International Nonprofit Credit Rating Agency) proposal following the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent criticism of the practices of the leading credit-rating agencies. The first report on the INCRA concept was published by the Foundation in April 2012. The Foundation believes INCRA's ratings offer higher quality by including a wider range of factors in its ratings determination, and by offering greater transparency in the rating process. The INCRA model also seeks to minimize conflicts of interest that are inherent to the current credit-rating agency sector.

Since publishing the original report, the INCRA team has tested the model’s methodology by rating six countries: the US, Germany, France, Brazil, Japan and Italy. To do this, the Foundation assembled a team of international sovereign-ratings experts to use INCRA’s wide-ranging factors to calculate the ratings. INCRA uses, in addition to traditional macroeconomic data, forward-looking socioeconomic indicators in its analyses. These indicators include the ability of governments to master crisis management and to implement needed reform. They also consider investment in future resources such as education and infrastructure. INCRA defines sovereign ratings as “public goods” available to all citizens. All detailed rating reports would be, therefore, available online for free.

The Foundation sees INCRA as an important contribution to the debate and discussion on new rules for international financial- and economic-policy governance.

For more information about INCRA, please visit our project website.
INCRA contact: Anneliese Humpert,