FASB goes it alone on accounting for repurchase agreements (repos)

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29 Jul 2010

At its meeting held on 28 July 2010, the FASB chairman announced that he added a limited scope project to the FASB's agenda to improve accounting for repurchase agreements (repos) or other agreements that both entitle and obligate the transferor to repurchase or redeem financial assets before their maturity.

Although this is not a joint project with the IASB, the FASB intends to consider how the proposed improvements are similar to or different from IFRS.

When the IASB and FASB decided in June 2010 to amend their convergence workplan, the IASB's derecognition project was removed from the current priority list to be reconsidered again sometime after June 2011. Prior to this workplan change, the IASB had issued ED/2009/3 Derecognition, which would have changed the way in which repos where accounted for, proposing to treat these transactions as sale transactions.

Constituents overwhelmingly disagreed with the proposed approach as described in the ED, noting these transactions were almost universally perceived as financing and that their treatment as sale transactions would increase volatility in profit or loss that had no economic substance. The IASB and FASB had also debated alternative accounting treatments for repos in light of this constituent feedback before deferring the project.

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