ASF Endorses Importance of Securitization Reform in Treasury's Stability Plan
American Securitization Forum (June 17, 2009)
June 17, 2009
New York, NY - The American Securitization Forum (ASF) today released the following statement on the Obama Administration's regulatory reform proposal:
"Securitization is a key part of the solution to the ongoing credit and liquidity crisis and is necessary for economic growth and recovery globally. Changes to securitization market supervision and oversight are a key component of restoring confidence and function to these markets. We agree that reforms are needed and are working constructively with policymakers globally to identify and implement them. We are also actively designing and implementing numerous industry-driven market standards and practices to rebuild and strengthen the securitization infrastructure, and to help restore confidence and function to this critically important market," said American Securitization Forum executive director George Miller.
"We acknowledge that there were misuses of securitization that need to be corrected. However, securitization is a central means of delivering affordable credit to consumers and businesses and has produced significant economic and societal benefits over the past 40 years. These include increased availability and reduced cost of financing for mortgage loans, auto and credit card financing and access to higher education loans," Mr. Miller added.
"The Administration's steps to help increase confidence in the markets for mortgage- and other asset-backed securities by increasing transparency, promoting standardization, and expanding initial and ongoing reporting of performance data for securitizations reflect the thrust of ASF Project RESTART. Announced last summer, this is a broad industry-developed initiative to help rebuild investor confidence in mortgage and asset-backed securities, restore capital flows to the securitization markets and, ultimately, increase the availability of affordable credit to all Americans. The ASF has issued specific loan-level disclosure standards as well as transparency enhancements as part of this project," said Ralph Daloisio, managing director at Natixis and chair of the American Securitization Forum.
"We agree that credit rating agencies need to manage conflicts of interest and broadly support efforts to provide clarity on ratings and risk. However, we strongly oppose differentiated ratings for structured credit products. Additionally, while we support policy initiatives to align economic incentives among securitization market participants and to achieve greater risk transparency, we believe that mandated retention of risk by asset originators and securitization sponsors may not be the most effective way to achieve this goal. To the extent risk retention is required, we believe provisions must be designed carefully to avoid undue restrictions on the ability to fund consumer and business lending via securitization, which could impair broader economic recovery. Risk retention is also an area where EU policymakers are focused; given the global nature of capital flows, achieving international consistency on this topic is critically important," said Mr. Miller.
"We are encouraged by the focus on securitization in Treasury's plan as it reflects the importance of restoring confidence and function to this critically important segment of the capital markets. The industry pledges to continue to work closely with the administration and global policymakers on this vital topic," Mr. Miller concluded.
The American Securitization Forum is a broad-based professional forum through which participants in the U.S. securitization market advocate their common interests on important legal, regulatory and market practice issues. ASF members include over 350 firms, including issuers, investors, servicers, financial intermediaries, rating agencies, financial guarantors, legal and accounting firms, and other professional organizations involved in securitization transactions. The ASF also provides information, education and training on a range of securitization market issues and topics through industry conferences, seminars and similar initiatives. For more information about ASF, its members and activities, please go to www.americansecuritization.com. The ASF is a forum affiliated with the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.
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