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Personal ratings are set by credit reference agencies in the UK, and by credit bureaus in the USA. They are different to credit rating agencies, who deal with both Corporate and Sovereign credit ratings.

Personal - for You

We all have a credit rating calculated from our financial history and gives a lender, for example, a good idea about how able we are to pay back a loan. A poor credit rating means you may be refused a loan or be subject to higher interest rates.

Corporate - for Companies

Companies have credit ratings too - these are called corporate credit ratings. These are used by investors in order to gain a financial indication of such areas as debt securities.

Sovereign - for Countries

Finally, countries also get their own credit rating - this is called a sovereign credit rating. This gives an indication as to a country's level of risk for investors, as well as political risk.

Both corporate and sovereign credit ratings are assigned by a credit rating agency. Many countries have one or more credit rating agencies, and there are some which are used widely as a trusted source. We have listed these, starting with the main agencies, and then by country in alphabetical order.

The Top 4

You will notice that the Top 4 world rating agencies are all based in the USA. Credit rating agencies are generally worldwide, so they are not utilized on a countrywide basis.

All four top agencies have affiliates in Latin America and Asia.

A.M. Best

A.M. Best is historically the main agency used for insurance companies. It assigns ratings to insurance companies to measure how able they are to pay claims. It is recognised by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission as an NRSRO - a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization. A.M. Best is based in the USA but has European and world arms.

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Fitch Group was, alongside other main agencies, designated NRSRO status by the US Securites and Exchange Status. It uses the same rating system as Standard & Poor's.

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Moody's Corporation is, like most of the main credit rating agencies, based in the USA. According to some sources, it has a 40 per cent share in the world credit rating market.

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Standard & Poor's

Standard & Poor's is usually referred to simply as S&P's and they are also one of the most-used ratings agencies. Like many, S&P's dates back to the early part of the last century. Most well known on its ratings is the S&P 500, which is a very actively traded index. It is made up of the prices of 500 common stocks.

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Agusto & Co

Agusto & Co. are based in Nigeria and is widely regarded as the primary credit rating agency in Nigeria. It has been in operation since the early 1990s, and was the first credit rating agency in Nigeria to be licensed by the Securities & Exchange Commission of Nigeria.

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Global Credit Rating Co.

Global Ratings is based in South Africa and has offices in Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The head office is in Sandton South Africa.

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Rapid Ratings International, Inc.

Rapid Ratings provides investors and risk managers with ratings, research and analysis for the financial health of companies in Australia and New Zealand.

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Veda Advantage

Veda Advantage is the main credit bureau for Australia and New Zealand.

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North America

Dominion Bond Rating Service

Dominion Bond Rating Service - also known as DBRS is based in Canada, and is the largest rating agency there. Despite being based in Canada, it is also one of the ten US Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations. It is recognized in a similar way in some European countries.

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Egan-Jones Rating Company

Egan-Jones Rating Company is an independent company based in the USA. It rates over 2000 high grade and high-yield US corporate debt issuers.

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LACE Financial

LACE Financial was founded in 1984 and is based in the US. It is another of the ten NRSRO companies.

View Website Ratings, Inc. are based in the US and provide ratings on a number of sources - banks, mutual funds and a range of insurers.

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Veribanc, Inc.

Veribank, Inc provides bank ratings for US banks that are federally insured.

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Caribbean Information & Credit Rating Services Ltd. (CariCRIS)

CariCRIS is the regional credit rating agency for the Caribbean. They are based in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

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Ahbor Rating

Ahbor Rating is based in Uzbekistan. The website does not work so we have provided the Uzbek government homepage which contains information on Ahbor.

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Chengxin International Credit Rating Co. Ltd.

Chengxin are based in China and are a Fitch affiliate. Please note there is no English option on the website.

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China Lianhe Credit Rating, Co. Ltd.

China Lianhe Credit Rating are based in China and provide analysis for investors. Please note the website is not available in English and requires Quick Time Player.

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China Financial Ratings Services - Xinhua Finance

Xinhua provide transparency on Chinese companies.

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Credit Analysis & Research Ltd (CARE)

CARE are based in India and is one of the main credit rating agencies of India. Its services are wide and span across most sectors.

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Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh, Ltd. (CRAB)

CRAB is based in Bangladesh and styles itself as one of the predominant credit rating agencies of the area. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) of Bangladesh has granted CRAB with a license.

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Credit Rating Information and Services, Ltd. (CRISL)

CRISL is another key credit rating agency for Bangladesh.

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CRISL is an S&P company, and as such is one of the leading credit rating agencies of India.

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Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. Ltd.

Dagong is based in China and is a highly-qualified credit rating agency - they are a member of the Association of Credit Rating Agencies in Asia and is on the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

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Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency (ICRA)

ICRA is based in India and is a Moody's associate.

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Japan Credit Rating Agency

Japan Credit Rating Agency - or JCR - was established in 1985, and is the main credit rating agency in Japan.

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JCR-VIS Credit Rating Co. Ltd.

Based in Pakistan, this company is an affiliate of Japan Credit Rating Agency, Ltd. It is also a founder shareholder of Bahrain's IIRA.

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Korea Investors Service, Inc. (KIS)

KIS is an affiliate of Moody's. It was established in 1985 and claims to be the first credit rating agency in Korea.

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Korea Ratings Corporation

Korea Ratings has been in operation since 1985 and is an affiliate of Fitch.

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Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad

Also known as MARC, this is a credit rating agency based in Malaysia. They were established in 1996, and currently 'paid-up' capital for MARC stands at RM20 million. Ratings are reviewed annually.

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National Information & Credit Evaluation, Inc. (NICE)

NICE is based in Korea and claims to be the largest credit information provider there.

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ONICRA Credit Rating Agency of India, Ltd.

ONICRA provides screening in employment background for businesses. It also provides information for associates and for personal credit rating.

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Pakistan Credit Rating Agency, Ltd. (PACRA)

PACRA was formerly a Fitch affiliate and styles itself as a key credit rating agency for Pakistan.

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Philippine Rating Services, Corp. (PhilRatings)

PhilRatings is the only domestic credit rating agency in the Philippines. It is accredited by the SEC.

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P.T. PEFINDO Credit Rating Indonesia

PT PEFINDO is based in Indonesia and was established in 1993.

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RAM Ratings (Lanka) Limited

RAM Ratings was formerly known as Lanka Rating Agency Ltd and and is a subsidiary of Malaysian parent company RAM Holdings Berhad. RAM Ratings is based in Sri Lanka.

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Rating and Investment Information, Inc

Based in Japan, the capitalization of R&I stands at nearly 590 million yen. It, along with nine other agencies, sits on the US NRSRO list. It was established in 1975.

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Seoul Credit Rating & Information, Inc

SCI is based in Korea and was established in 1992. It is a KOSDAQ listed corporate.

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Shanghai Credit Information Services Co. Ltd

CIS are based in China and provide credit rating information for investors. Please note the website is not available in English.

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SME Rating Agency of India Limited (SMERA)

SMERA is a joint initiative by numerous Indian banks, SIDBI and D&D

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Taiwan Ratings, Corp. (TCR)

TCR are an S&P's partner for Taiwan.

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Thai Rating and Information Services Co., Ltd. (TRIS)

TRIS is a credit ratings agency for Thailand. Please note the website is in Thai.

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Türk KrediRating (TCRating)

TCR is based in Istanbul, Turkey and provides ratings on a number of companies in Turkey.

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Islamic International Rating Agency, B.S.C. (IIRA)

Based in Bahrain, IIRA provides transparency and information for the Islamic financial services industry.

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Pacific Credit Rating

Pacific Credit Rating - or PCR - began in Peru but now serves a number of Latin American countries

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Apoyo & Asociados Internacionales S.A.C.

Apoyo is based in Peru and is an associate of Fitch Ratings.

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Bank Watch Ratings S.A

Bank Watch Ratings is based in Ecuador and is an affiliate of Fitch Ratings. The website provides links to all Fitch-connected agencies.

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BRC Investor Services S.A.

BRC is based in Columbia and is an affiliate of Moody's Investor Service. As such they are one of the most relied-upon agencies of Columbia.

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Calificadora de Riesgo, PCA

Calificadora de Riesgo are based in Uruguay and provide accurate risk assessment for investors.

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Clasificadora de Riesgo Humphreys, Ltd.

Humphry's is based in Chile and was established in 1988.

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Class y Asociados S.A. Clasificadora de Riesgo

Class & Asociados is based in Peru.

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Duff & Phelps de Colombia, S.A., S.C.V

DCR Colombia is a Fitch associate. As such their services are trusted and relied on.

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Ecuability, SA

Ecuability SA are based in Ecuador.

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Equilibrium Clasificadora de Riesgo

Equilibrium is based in Peru and is an affiliate of Moody's. It is called on by many investors in Latin America.

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Feller Rate Clasificadora de Riesgo

Feller Rate is based in Chile and is a strategic affiliate of Standard & Poor's.

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HR Ratings de Mexico, S.A. de C.V

HR Ratings are based in Mexico and have a large base in international support. It aims to provide transparency on the Mexican financial market.

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Sociedad Calificadora de Riesgo Centroamericana, S.A. (SCRiesgo)

SCRiesgo are based in Costa Rica and provides risk rating for companies and projects in the region.

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Capital Intelligence, Ltd.

Capital Intelligence are based in Cyprus, and model themselves as a leading credit rating agency for the world's emerging markets.

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Central European Rating Agency (CERA)

CERA is also known as Fitch Polska, and is based in Poland.

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Companhia Portuguesa de Rating, SA (CPR

CPR is based in Portugal and is one of the main credit rating agencies there.

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European Rating Agency (ERA)

ERA was formerly known as the Slovak Rating Agency. It provides risk profile information on emerging European markets.

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Interfax Rating Agency (IRA)

Interfax has a connection with Moody's via its partner at Moody's Interfax Rating Agency. It provides a source for the financial markets of Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

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Rus Rating

Rus Rating is part of the Global Rating Group and is based in Russia.

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Slovak Rating Agency, a.s. (SRA)

The SRA are an affiliate of ERA and are based in Slovenia. Ratings and analysis is provided on companies in the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe.

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Credit-Rating, Ltd.

First rating agency in Ukraine committed to assessment of issuer's solvency and to assignment of credit ratings pursuant to the National rating scale. Since 2003 the agency's rating estimations have been officially recognized by Ministry of Finance of Ukraine.

In 2009 the agency entered the Belarusian market. In 2010 the agency became a member-founder of European Association of Credit Rating Agencies (EACRA).

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Please note that while this is a comprehensive list of global credit rating agencies, there are smaller agencies in the world - so many it would be hard to list all. As you may have noted, many of the agencies listed here are affiliated and associated with members of the Top 4.


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