1. An institution shall have specific definitions, processes and criteria for assigning exposures to grades or pools within a rating system that comply with the following requirements:
(a) the grade or pool definitions and criteria shall be sufficiently detailed to allow those charged with assigning ratings to consistently assign obligors or facilities posing similar risk to the same grade or pool. This consistency shall exist across lines of business, departments and geographic locations;
(b) the documentation of the rating process shall allow third parties to understand the assignments of exposures to grades or pools, to replicate grade and pool assignments and to evaluate the appropriateness of the assignments to a grade or a pool;
(c) the criteria shall also be consistent with the institution's internal lending standards and its policies for handling troubled obligors and facilities.
2. An institution shall take all relevant information into account in assigning obligors and facilities to grades or pools. Information shall be current and shall enable the institution to forecast the future performance of the exposure. The less information an institution has, the more conservative shall be its assignments of exposures to obligor and facility grades or pools. If an institution uses an external rating as a primary factor determining an internal rating assignment, the institution shall ensure that it considers other relevant information.