The Financial Stability Board has called on national authorities to curtail the influence of credit rating agencies by eliminating references to ratings "wherever possible." The regulatory body has asked for additional ways to assess risk. "Standard setters and authorities should develop transition plans and timetables to enable the removal or replacement of references to ... ratings wherever possible," the FSB said. The major credit rating agencies -- Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings -- have faced tough criticism for their role in the financial crisis.

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