We are regularly checking and updating the list of known credit rating agencies (CRAs) (and organizations) in the world – this update now includes 120 (non-)for-profit corporates in 47 countries.
Since we published our list for the first time in April 2013, the number increased from 28 to 120. Is this a good sign in terms of more competition within the credit rating industry?
The so called “Big Three”, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch, still dominate the global evaluation market of credit ratings by far. More than 90% of the credit rating market is covered by them. This value did not really change during the last decade .
Even if we have 120 credit ratings agencies/organizations right now around the world, one can see, that at least 34 of them are either affiliates/subsidies of S&P and Co. – or acquired by them.
We see three main reasons, why we still have such a concentrated credit rating market:
- The stricter regulations implemented since the last Global Financial Crisis are even more supressing small players, instead of facilitate them.
- Experience and trust cannot be easily earned within a couple of years. This is especially crucial within the financial world. Moody’s celebrated its 110th birthday last year and S&P and Fitch are not that much younger. It is to some point understandable that banks and insurances therefore still trust the “Big Three” much more then new players in the market (despite the bias/governance/transparency/ issues the dominant CRAs had – and still have).
- Especially governments (not all of course) were really keen on “restricting the power of the rating agencies”. But even they and their government-owned corporation (GOC) or state-owned enterprise (SOE) still rely mostly on this “rating oligopoly”, which handicaps innovative competitors.
But we do not only want to criticize – things within the credit rating industry had improved since 2007/2008 (e.g. Dodd-Frank) , but there is still a lot to do…
 SEC – Annual Report on Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations 2019
 ESMA – Report on CRA Market Share Calculation 2018
 Wikipedia – Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act