WASHINGTON - Standard & Poor's officials met yesterday with a group of about two dozen market analysts at its headquarters in New York to discuss changes to its policies, which are designed to remove potential conflicts of interest in its ratings. The changes come amid charges that the rating agencies' actions in recent weeks have thrown analysts and other market participants into confusion.

Standard & Poor's said yesterday that it would undertake 27 separate changes to bolster confidence in its ratings in response to huge losses insurers have suffered from their exposure to mortgage-backed securities. They include hiring an ombudsman to address concerns raised by issuers, investors, employees and other market participants, as well as new guidelines that will automatically rotate the lead analyst of any issuer after five years.

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