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IASB to consider potential IFRS 9 deferral at next meeting

  • IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) (blue) Image

15 Sep 2015

The agenda papers for the discussion of the interaction between IFRS 9 'Financial Instruments' and the forthcoming standard on accounting for insurance contracts at the IASB meeting next week have been made available. At the July IASB meeting the Board directed the staff to continue exploring possible approaches to resolve the concerns arising from that interaction. Among the alternatives explored is a possible deferral of IFRS 9 for entities that issue contracts within the scope of IFRS 4 'Insurance Contracts' until the new insurance contracts standard is applied.

As it has become obvious that the effective date of the forthcoming IFRS on insurance contracts can no longer be aligned with the effective date of IFRS 9 there have been calls for the IASB to delay application of IFRS 9 for insurance activities and align the effective date of IFRS 9 for those activities with the effective date of the new insurance contracts standard. In July 2015, the IASB tentatively decided to amend IFRS 4 to address the consequences of different effective dates of IFRS 9 and the new insurance contracts standard.

At the meeting next week the IASB staff will introduce the possibility of a possible deferral in addition to the "overlay" tentatively decided on in July and transition reliefs on initial application of the new insurance contracts standard. The deferral could either be at reporting entity level or below reporting entity level. It could also be optional or mandatory.

If the IASB decides to propose a deferral approach in addition to the overlay approach, the staff recommends that

  • deferral of the effective date of IFRS 9 would be permitted for an entity that issues contracts in the scope of IFRS 4 if that activity is predominant for the reporting entity, and would apply to all financial assets held by that reporting entity;
  • an entity that has applied IFRS 9 is not permitted to stop applying IFRS 9 and revert to applying IAS 39;
  • an entity that applies the deferral should be required to disclose the fact and make additional disclosures about the effect of this decision; and
  • an entity that applies the deferral would be permitted to stop applying the deferral and apply IFRS 9 at the beginning of any annual reporting period before the new insurance contracts standard is applied.

The papers for the meeting are available on the IASB website. Of special relevance are:

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