Comment Period for Changes to Regulation AB Passes

February 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Bond Regulation, SEC 

In May, in an effort to bring trust and greater activity back to the asset-backed securities market, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed significant changes to Regulation AB. This regulation dictates what information issuers of asset-back securities must provide to investors in prospectuses. The SEC intends to tighten the rules and the comment period on those changes has now passed.

Issuers of asset-backed securities will no long be able to file a “shelf registration” that they can use again and again to issue bundled securities with no clear disclosure of what is inside. Second, sellers must give investors time to assess the value of these complex securities before they can offer them for sale. And third, independent parties will be required to monitor these asset-backed securities to ensure they are performing as anticipated.

By requiring so much new information, the SEC is reducing the role of ratings agencies and urging investors to do more of their own analysis. The New York Times quoted the reaction that Ann Rutledge had to the rule changes. Ms. Rutledge is the co-founder of R & R Consulting, a structured credit analytics firm in New York. “My reading of this proposed ruling is it’s a very practical way of closing loopholes,” said Ms. Rutledge. “The regulators are now beginning to understand why they put the rules on the books and how the market worked around them.”

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