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A credit rating by Fitch. As with other credit ratings, a Fitch rating measures the level of risk associated with a particular issuer of debt securities. Credit ratings are extremely important to some issuers, as banks are only allowed to invest in low-risk debt securities. Fitch is one of only 10 firms the SEC recognizes as a credit rating agency, and, along with S&P and Moody's, it is one of the three most prominent. However, the methods of credit ratings agencies have been subject to criticism. For example, most agencies gave high-risk mortgage-backed securities top ratings until they defaulted.
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An international rating agency for financial institutions, insurance companies, and corporate, sovereign, and municipal debt. Fitch Ratings has headquarters in New York and London and is wholly owned by FIMALAC of Paris. Formerly called Fitch Investors Service.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.