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Results from the meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

22 Apr 2012

On 19 and 20 April 2012, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met in Washington D.C. to assess progress on the financial regulatory reforms.

In the run-up to the meeting organisations such as the IFAC and the Private Sector Taskforce (PSTF) urged the G20 to continue their push for financial regulatory reforms and to follow through on earlier recommendations.

The PSTF strongly encouraged the G20 to implement all of the 15 recommendations presented in its 2011 report with a strong emphasis on its first two recommendations, encouraging the G20 to:

  • Continue to focus on regulatory convergence in the financial sector, ensuring that G20 nations work together to identify and narrow gaps in regulatory practice; and
  • Discourage nations from implementing unilateral national regulatory reforms that are inconsistent with international standards and that widen—rather than narrow—the convergence gap.

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) urged the G20 to take action against inconsistent, unreliable public sector financial reporting: “For the last ten years IFAC has consistently promoted the need for better financial reporting and financial management in the public sector. The sovereign debt crisis has given rise to a very significant number of policy developments at an international level, but this issue has yet to be adequately addressed. The use of IPSASs by governments worldwide will improve the quality of financial information reported by public entities, which is critical for investors, taxpayers, and the general public.”

On 20 April, the chairman of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) reported to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on progress in the financial regulatory reform programme. He reported "solid progress [...] in the priority areas identified by the G20 Leaders at Cannes and reiterated by Ministers and Governors in Mexico this past February." The FSB report was accompanied by  a joint report from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on their progress in converging their standards, together with a report on enhancements to the governance of the IASB. The Boards stated that they are "close to completing the MoU programme" and expect to issue final standards on the remaining projects by mid- 2013.

In the communiqué published after the meeting, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors reaffirmed their commitment to international convergence and regulatory reform: "We assessed progress on the implementation of our financial regulatory reform agenda as outlined in our February 2012 Communiqué in order to deliver on our commitments looking ahead to the Los Cabos Leaders’ Summit, and reaffirmed our commitment to common global standards by pursuing the financial regulatory reform agenda according to our agreed timetable in an internationally consistent and non-discriminatory manner." They also commented on the completion of the IASB/FASB MoU programme: “We support [...] the efforts of the IASB and FASB to achieve convergence to a globally accepted set of high quality accounting standards and urge them to meet their target of issuing standards on key convergence projects by mid-2013, at the latest, in order to achieve a single set of high quality international accounting standards” (emphasis added).

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