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'IASB is not an Anglo-Saxon, self-regulatory body'

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28 Sep 2015

In his opening remarks at the 2015 Word Standard-setters (WSS) meeting that is currently taking place in London, IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst spoke about standard-setting in the public interest.

His remarks mostly built on the IASB and the IFRS Foundation joint publication Working in the public interest: the IFRS Foundation and the IASB and Mr Hoogervorst elaborated on the four main themes:

  • Working in the public interest;
  • The audience of IFRS;
  • The characteristics of IFRS; and
  • Institutional aspects of the IFRS Foundation and the IASB.

During his discussion of the last point, Mr Hoogervorst admitted that there is a perception that personally angers him:

Some see us as an Anglo-Saxon, self-regulatory body, which somehow privileges commercial interests. The reality is quite different.

Mr Hoogervorst explained that while it was true that the IASB's governance is very similar to that of the FASB, similar governance models can also be found in many non Anglo-Saxon countries. He also stressed that the IASB has no power to impose IFRS. As the standards need to be voluntarily adopted, the IASB knows that it needs to listen carefully to its constituents, which means that it simply cannot afford to be self-regulatory. And lastly he stressed that the notion furthest from the truth was that the IASB would somehow privilege commercial interests. Mr Hoogervorst pointed to the fact that the members of the IASB are shielded from undue influence by special interests by not being allowed to hold positions in for-profit organisations. He also stressed the transparency of the IASB's decision-making, which allows the public to watch very closely whether the IASB is unduly influenced in any way.

Please click to access the full text of the speech on the IASB's website.

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