Commissioner updates EU Parliament on accounting matters

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24 Dec 2007

In a presentation to the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Committee in Brussels, EU Commissioner for Internal Markets and Services Charlie McCreevy updated the committee on four topics – the EU-US regulatory dialogue, financial turmoil, single market, Single European Payments Area (SEPA).

The first topic included an update on accounting matters (below). Click to download Commissioner McCreevy's Presentation (PDF 92k).


On November 15, the US Securities and Exchange Commission took the major decision to allow foreign issuers to file accounts under IFRS without reconciliation to US standards. We have always wanted this. All EU companies listed in the US will benefit. One estimate puts the savings at €2.5bn – and this just for EU companies. This is clear evidence of the benefits of international regulatory dialogues! We must continually make sure that new standards reflect the real needs of stakeholders. We need to continue to press for improvements in the IASB standard setting process. To avoid unwanted or even unexpected consequences. That means more transparency. Better consultations. Impact analysis at an early stage. Thorough field-testing of any new standards. And rigorous management. We need standards only when they are necessary.

We also need to strengthen further the public accountability of the IASB. That is why last month we issued a statement together with the US SEC, the Japanese Financial Services Authority and IOSCO on key issues where action is needed.

Next year it will be the EU's turn to take the decision to accept US GAAP – and other well developed third country GAAPs. We are working hard together with European securities regulators to determine whether those GAAPs are equivalent to IFRS. We will make a serious and balanced decision – taking into account the competitiveness and attractiveness of our capital markets. As regulators we must help financial markets to function as friction-free as possible.


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