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IASB Chairman meets with EU Parliament committee

29 Sep 2009

Sir David Tweedie, Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board, met with the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on 28 September 2009 to discuss the IASB's response to issues arising from the financial crisis.

His remarks focussed, in particular, on the IASB's response to issues raised by EU institutions. Click to download Sir David's Statement (PDF 27k). Here is an excerpt:

Actions taken to respond to global concerns

From the outset of the crisis, the IASB has worked on a defined programme with time lines to address issues arising from the financial crisis. Our initial focus was on the three areas identified by the Financial Stability Forum: (1) the application of fair value in illiquid markets; (2) accounting for off balance sheet items; and (3) disclosures related to risk. On all three points, we have acted urgently.

On fair value in illiquid markets, we produced a report in October 2008 that the European Commission praised. We have consistently stated that IFRS and US guidance are consistent in this important area. I know that there was concern that the recent FASB Staff Position on fair value measurement might have created a new unlevel playing field. It is for this reason that immediately after the FASB's publication, we posted a press release reiterating that our approach was consistent with the FASB's. As an extra precaution to ensure that global consistency is maintained, on 28 May 2009 the IASB published an exposure draft on fair value measurement that directly incorporates the relevant FASB guidance.

On off balance sheet items, the G20, the Financial Stability Forum, and this Council have all emphasised the need for more transparency in the accounting for these items. There is some evidence that IFRSs have held up relatively well on this issue, but we have now proposed tightening our rules further.

On risk disclosures, in March 2009 the IASB published improvements to the disclosure requirements for fair value measurements and reinforced existing principles for disclosures about the liquidity risk associated with financial instruments.