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SEC Commissioner thinks the U.S. 'will get there eventually' on IFRS

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12 Oct 2012

In a recent speech to the American Bar Association International Section, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Elisse B. Walter noted that she believed the United States "will get there eventually" with IFRS adoption, but that the time frame was uncertain.

In a wide-ranging speech covering numerous topics, Commissioner Walter, speaking in her own capacity, discussed the SEC's role in conforming regulations globally within the context of the SEC's mission, where she noted "coordination efforts in some areas take longer than perhaps our foreign counterparts would hope".

In relation to IFRS specifically, Commissioner Walter stated:

... SEC staff from the Office of the Chief Accountant has published its final report on the IFRS Work Plan.  This report has given the Commission much to consider.  While I continue to believe that converged standards are important to serving the interests of investors in the increasingly global capital markets, we cannot incorporate IFRS unless and until we are confident that it will serve U.S. investors well.

Speaking more broadly, Commissioner Walter noted the "Commission cannot take actions in areas merely for the sake of international consistency if it is not the right thing to do for U.S. investors and U.S. markets" but added her belief that "more often than not, what is in the best interest of the U.S. markets and what is in the best interest of the global market will not be mutually exclusive".

Ms Walter also discussed other global regulatory issues such as over-the-counter derivatives, swaps regulation, the proposed unified legal entity identifier system, and monitoring the financial system in the context of automated trading and interconnected markets.

Click for the full text of the speech (link to SEC website).

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