SEC new rule: ABS issuers and underwriters must disclose any third-party due diligence report
On August 27, 2014, as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Securities & Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted several new rules and amendments designed to improve the quality of credit ratings and increase the accountability of Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (“NRSROs”). The new rules, which become effective nine months after their publication in the Federal Register, significantly affect services in connection with asset-backed securities (“ABS”). Among other provisions, included is a requirement for ABS issuers and underwriters to disclose the findings and conclusions of any third-party due diligence report they obtain. The rule applies to both registered and unregistered offerings. Additionally, providers of ABS due diligence services must submit a written certification (signed by an individual who is duly authorized to make such a certification) to any NRSRO that is producing a credit rating regarding the ABS, and disclose information about the due diligence performed, along with a summary of the findings and conclusions, and identification of any relevant NRSRO due diligence criteria that the third-party intended to meet in performing the due diligence.