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Credit rating agencies provide an important role in assessing the financial viability and capacity of entities to honor their contractual commitments. Corporate Scorecard (AFSL#341391) is one of small number of highly specialised financial services providers licensed to provide credit ratings to wholesale clients. Credit ratings are a critical, forward-looking measure to support important business decisions, and Corporate Scorecard is a committed advocate in promoting the fairness, efficiency and transparency of rating services.

The licensing regime imposes strict regulatory requirements and industry surveillance to ensure appropriate conduct and compliance to a code of conduct relating to the quality and integrity of the ratings process, independence and avoidance of conflict of interest, and responsibilities to the public, clients and assessed entities. The regime also covers confidentiality, communication and disclosure, professional development, document management, and a range of additional governance related matters. The company's financial and operational compliance is externally audited each year.

Corporate Scorecard has Quality Accreditation (ISO9001) and endorses and follows the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Technical Committee's "Statement of Principles Regarding the Activities of Credit Rating Agencies". The company complies with a strict Code of Conduct based on the IOSCO 'Code of Conduct for Credit Rating Agencies' to ensure our professional independence and objectivity are of the highest order.

Corporate Scorecard is often commissioned on a credit rating engagement relating to a publicly listed organisation. In these situations, particularly where analysts are privy to potentially price sensitive information that has not been released to the market, Corporate Scorecard complies with a series of additional governance requirements and safeguards to afford the entity with relief from public disclosure that would otherwise be required in accordance with listing requirements. As a Credit Ratings Agency, Corporate Scorecard's analysts are prohibited from trading in those entities that are rated, and the company maintains a cease-trading register that is externally audited to monitor compliance.

Corporate Scorecard has implemented a strict 'Conflict of Interest' policy. All staff have been trained in this policy, which defines conflicts of interest and how such conflicts of interest are identified, reported, controlled and managed. All staff are involved in continuing professional development, and these workshops also include reviews of relevant company procedures and policies including the Service Delivery procedure and Conflict of Interest policy.

As part of the internal audit procedure, all company policies and procedures are audited at least annually. As part of this process, staff are interviewed and assessed for compliance to procedures and policies, including the maintenance of rating analyst independence.

Corporate Scorecard is committed to ensuring its clients' expectations are always met or exceeded, and is a strong advocate for integrating continuous improvement in the processes underpinning its business. If you have any feedback we would like to hear from you. Please email efvradmin@equifax.com.