City & Corporate: Journalists say reforms have hurt analyst reports

US and UK financial journalists believe crackdowns on 'tainted' analyst research reports have damaged the effectiveness of the data.

Only three of the 50 journalists interviewed by ECD Insight for its report on investment research and the media thought that sell-side research was more useful than it was before 2002 - when a New York crackdown exposed conflicts of interest in some analysts' recommendations.

Almost two thirds said the reforms - which included a deeper separation of sell-side analysts and investment banking operations, and restrictions on press access to analysts - had adversely affected the quality of the research or failed to improve it.

Three quarters of journalists said access to analysts was more restricted than it had been three years ago.

The changes were designed to deter analysts from bullishly recommending the shares of companies that are clients of the research firm's investment banking department.

'The deterioration in these relationships has broader, more serious implications for the reputation management of the investment firms in question,' said ECD Insight partner Jeremy Adams.

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