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IASB amends offsetting rules in IAS 32 and amends disclosure requirements

16 Dec 2011

The IASB has issued amendments to IAS 32 'Financial Instruments: Presentation' that provide clarifications on the application of the offsetting rules.

The joint offsetting project between the IASB and FASB was intended to address the differences in their respective accounting standards regarding offsetting of financial instruments.

However, the FASB decided to retain the current US GAAP guidance. Therefore, the Boards decided to jointly focus on developing converged disclosure requirements to allow financial statement users the ability to more easily compare financial instruments exposures under IFRS and US GAAP.

Additionally, the IASB decided to amend IAS 32 to clarify certain aspects because of diversity in application that was identified during the IASB constituent outreach.

The project to amend IAS 32 focused on four main areas:

  • the meaning of 'currently has a legally enforceable right of set-off'
  • the application of simultaneous realisation and settlement
  • the offsetting of collateral amounts
  • the unit of account for applying the offsetting requirements.

The amendments to the disclosure requirements in IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosure require information about all recognised financial instruments that are set off in accordance with paragraph 42 of IAS 32. The amendments also require disclosure of information about recognised financial instruments subject to enforceable master netting arrangements and similar agreements even if they are not set off under IAS 32. The IASB believes that these disclosures will allow financial statement users to evaluate the effect or potential effect of netting arrangements, including rights of set-off associated with an entity's recognised financial assets and recognised financial liabilities, on the entity's financial position.

The amendments to IAS 32 are not effective until annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2014. However, the new offsetting disclosure requirements are effective sooner - for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2013 and interim periods within those annual periods. The amendments need to be provided retrospectively to all comparative periods.

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