EFRAG ready to send out qualified endorsement advice on IFRS 9

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27 Aug, 2015

As reported earlier, the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) intends to finalise the long-awaited endorsement advice on IFRS 9 ‘Financial Instruments’ next week. The draft of the final endorsement advice to be adopted has now been made available.

As in the draft endorsement advice published in May 2015, EFRAG continues to believe that IFRS 9 meets the technical endorsement criteria, would be conducive to the European public good and should be adopted for the use in the European Union. However, EFRAG notes that the mismatch in timing of the future insurance contracts standard and IFRS 9 will lead to disruptions in the reporting by insurers making their financial reporting less understandable for users while increasing costs for preparers. As earlier, EFRAG states that this mismatch in timing makes “a strong case for having the IASB defer the effective date of IFRS 9, so as to align it with the effective date of the future insurance contracts standard, albeit only for insurers and as an option”. EFRAG notes that the IASB has started investigating various approaches that would address the issue, including a deferral. However, as the IASB has just started on these explorations, EFRAG states that it is unable to assess whether these actions will mitigate the negative effects of the timing mismatch:

However, the IASB is at the early stages of its work and therefore we are not in a position today to assess whether their initiative will remove the concerns created by the non-alignment of the effective dates of IFRS 9 and the future insurance contracts standard.

EFRAG advises the European Commission to request the IASB to proceed with the necessary IFRS amendments as quickly as possible and notes that any solution (deferral or other) remains sub-optimal and should be of a very temporary nature.

In summary, EFRAG states in its endorsement advice that IFRS 9 should generally be adopted, however, does not include final advice on the insurance standard matter and therefore leaves open how the European Commission should react – go forward with endorsing IFRS 9 for all companies in the hope that the IASB will come up with a sustainable solution to the timing mismatch problem or the hope that IASB will defer the effective date of IFRS 9 for insurers or whether even an EU-only deferral should be chosen.

Please click to access the press release on the EFRAG website announcing the next Board meeting, which offers access to the updated set of meeting papers.

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