Thomson BankWatch Gets Ratings Certification from the SEC

Thomson BankWatch, the bank rating agency, has been designated a "Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization" by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The new classification puts the agency on a par with Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's Corp., and other big U.S. rating agencies.

Separately, Thomson, which is affiliated with the American Banker, is initiating a rating system for short-term securities. The new ratings will be provided in conjunction with existing ratings.

Rating Debt, Instruments

Thomson is also planning to alter its rating grades so as to rate specific debt and preferred stock instruments, instead of setting a single rating for an entire bank.

"We felt we had to develop a separate rating system that would be consistent with other rating agencies," said Gregory Root, president.

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