Friday’s headlines: SEC scrutinizes credit rating analysts’ moves to Wall Street

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Regulators are scrutinizing the fact that over the past five years, 136 analysts at credit-rating firms Moody’s, S&P and Fitch have left to work for the firms they once rated, according to The Wall Street Journal. Lawmakers have questioned whether analysts were too soft on financial services companies in hopes of landing higher-paying Wall Street jobs.

Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.) told the paper: “You are rating someone and then you want to go work for them and make much more money—the notion that you would be critical of some entity and then hope they hire you goes against what we know about human nature.”

The rating firms insist they have strict controls to guard against conflicts.

Other News:

BofA's new wealth management unit for mass-affluent consumers is on target to meet growth goals. [On Wall Street]

Darren Buckley, the head of Citibank Japan, may step down this month, as Japan’s regulators prepare to penalize the bank. [Bloomberg]

Bank of Ireland met its goal after being ordered to raise $5.7 billion in high-quality capital. [Reuters]

Morgan Stanley is asking investors in a $4.7 billion real estate fund to extend the fund beyond the June 2012 expiration date, as only 40 percent of the money has been invested. [Reuters]

Goldman and Credit Suisse were added to a $1.5 billion Malaysian healthcare I.P.O. [Reuters]

Billionaire Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund has raised $625 million for its fourth fund. [NY Times]

RBC’s Q4 profit is up 43 percent on consumer banking and insurance. [Bloomberg]

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