The International Organization of Securities Commissions published a report proposing 13 “sound” practices for large financial firms to better assess their credit exposures, in order to reduce their reliance on credit ratings. According to IOSCO, during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, many large firms relied too often on credit ratings as an “unofficial ‘seal of approval’.” This exacerbated the financial crisis, claimed IOSCO. As a result, “reducing such overreliance and seeking to identify sound practices with regard to suitable alternative assessment methods should both increase investor protection and be beneficial for market integrity and financial stability,” said IOSCO. The alternative techniques recommended by IOSCO include (1) establishing an independent credit assessment function; (2) ensuring senior management involvement in implementation of a “robust” credit assessment process; (3) ensuring the credit assessment process is properly implemented and followed; (4) ensuring the firm’s governing committee is fully informed on the amount of credit risk to which the firm is exposed; and (5) including “a wide variety of qualitative measures into robust credit assessment processes in addition to quantitative measures.” Comments will be accepted by IOSCO through close of business July 8, 2015.