IASB Chairman addresses EU Parliamentary committee

  • Sir David Tweedie (50x35) Image

13 Apr 2007

On 10 April 2007, IASB Chairman Sir David Tweedie made a presentation to the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels.

His remarks covered:
  • Steps that the IASB and the Trustees have taken to improve the accountability and transparency of the organisation, including recent decisions regarding the Trustees' oversight of the IASB, feedback given by the IASB to commentators on our proposals, and the Board's engagement with the European Parliament.
  • An update of convergence efforts with the United States.
  • Progress toward an International Financial Reporting Standard aimed at small and medium-sized entities (SMEs).
Click to Download Sir David's Presentation  (PDF 51k). Here are several excerpts:

There is clear momentum towards accepting IFRSs as a common financial reporting language throughout the world. Today, companies in the European Union are benefiting from reduced compliance costs associated with the removal of the need for the consolidation of different national accounts into a single statement to meet their home country's requirements. Investors are able to make comparisons of companies operating in different jurisdictions more easily. Regulatory authorities are now more able to develop more consistent approaches to supervision across the European economies.

As momentum towards a common set of international standards has built, the relevance of the IASB's work to the world's economy naturally invites increased scrutiny of our operations and the standard-setting process. This is something that the IASC Foundation Trustees and my IASB colleagues and I welcome. At the same time, I would ask for your help as elected representatives within the European Union, a leading beneficiary of IFRSs, in sustaining and protecting the project underway. Any unnecessary shock to the emerging IFRS system could derail what is becoming a global consensus around IFRSs.

Last week, the Trustees considered the comments received from the European Commission and others on our working procedures and responded positively to those comments. The Trustees are working with the IASB to build a framework that makes more explicit how cost-benefit considerations are taken into account when the IASB addresses new standards. Using field research and building upon its consultative processes, the IASB will seek to explain the impact of new standards on capital markets more clearly. Furthermore, the IASB will establish feedback statements related to comments received throughout the consultation process, enabling respondents and others to see clearly how the IASB dealt with comments received. Other regulatory groups, including the Committee of European Securities Regulators, adopt this approach to explain their conclusions, and the IASB will look to them as models.

The Trustees also discussed the need for a more active engagement on both the Trustee and IASB-level with key stakeholders, including the European Parliament. It is fair to say that we have not established regular contact with the members of the ECON committee, and the IASB wants to rectify this.

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