UK FSA CEO urges acceptance of IAS 39 in Europe

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30 May 2004

In a recent Speech (PDF 199k) at the 2004 Financial Services Authority Conference in London, FSA Chief Executive John Tiner urged that European banks and other listed companies accept IAS 39 and focus on ensuring a smooth transition to IFRSs in 2005. An excerpt from Mr Tiner's remarks: It is no secret that IAS 39 in particular is not a perfect standard and that the EU financial services sector has misgivings about potential volatility in earnings.

However, especially in recent months there has been a full and transparent debate about the major concerns and I believe all parties have worked hard and collaboratively to understand and, where appropriate, accommodate these. It is my impression that there is a growing belief that it is better to accept the standard as it is currently drafted for use in 2005 and seek to improve it after that. The FSA shares that view. We are concerned that EU listed companies do not yet know how they will be required to account for the most important financial assets and liabilities on their balance sheets and the billions, or perhaps even trillions, of Euros in financial instruments not on the balance sheets. And we are only a few months from the start date. It is more important to have certainty at this stage than to strive for perfection.

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