The Securities and Exchange Commission has removed credit rating references from its rules governing money market funds and the form that money market funds use to report information to the Commission each month about their portfolio holdings.
The amendments, issued by the Commission on Wednesday afternoon, has an Oct. 14, 2016 compliance date. Initially proposed in March 2011, they were re-proposed in July 2014.
The SEC’s existing rule 2a-7 had required money market funds to invest only in securities that received one of the two highest short-term credit ratings or, if they are not rated, securities of comparable quality. The rule also required money market funds to invest at least 97 percent of its assets in securities that received the highest short-term credit rating. The new amendments eliminate the reliance on credit ratings. Instead, a money market fund is limited to investing in a security only if the fund determines that the security presents “minimal credit risks,” after analyzing prescribed factors.
The Dodd-Frank Act required all federal agencies to remove references to, or requirements involving, credit ratings issued by nationally recognized statistical rating organizations.