Reforming Financial Markets

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:33 pm on 8th July 2009.

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Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:33 pm, 8th July 2009

The hon. Lady is right. The Financial Stability Board, which the International Monetary Fund set up, is looking at the issue, because credit rating agencies are mostly American and they operate throughout the world. We have to have international agreement, and in Europe steps are being taken rather more quickly to try to ensure that agencies are properly regulated. She is right that they can be hugely influential, but I have always made the point that a credit rating agency's advice should be one factor influencing people's decisions. It should not comprise their total judgment, because it cannot.