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IASB finalises amendments to IFRS 9 regarding prepayment features with negative compensation and modifications of financial liabilities

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12 Oct 2017

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published 'Prepayment Features with Negative Compensation (Amendments to IFRS 9)' to address the concerns about how IFRS 9 'Financial Instruments' classifies particular prepayable financial assets. In addition, the IASB clarifies an aspect of the accounting for financial liabilities following a modification.

 

Background

In 2016 the IFRS Interpretations Committee received a submission asking how particular prepayable financial assets would be classified applying IFRS 9 Financial Instruments. The Committee noted that under IFRS 9 certain prepayment options would preclude instruments that otherwise only feature contractual cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest (SPPI) from being measured at amortised cost or fair value through other comprehensive income. Problematic in this case are prepayment features where the lender could be forced to accept a prepayment amount that is substantially less than unpaid amounts of principal and interest because this would constitute a payment to the borrower by the lender and not a compensation from the borrower to the lender. The Interpretations Committee was convinced that using amortised cost measurement could provide useful information in this case and asked the Board to consider adding a narrow-scope exception to IFRS 9.

The Board followed the Interpretations Committee's reasoning and published ED/2017/3 Prepayment Features with Negative Compensation (Proposed amendments to IFRS 9) in April 2017. The ED proposed a narrow exception to IFRS 9 for particular financial assets that would otherwise have contractual cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest but do not qualify for amortised cost or fair value through other comprehensive income measurement as a result of a prepayment feature. The Board proposed that such a financial asset would be eligible to be measured at amortised cost or at fair value through other comprehensive income (depending on a company's business model) if two conditions are met:

  • the assessment that the prepayment amount is not solely a payment of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding only hinges on the fact that the party that chooses to terminate the contract early may receive reasonable additional compensation for doing so; and
  • when the entity initially recognises the financial asset, the fair value of the prepayment feature is insignificant.

 

Changes

The amendments in Prepayment Features with Negative Compensation (Amendments to IFRS 9) are:

Changes regarding symmetric prepayment options

Under the current IFRS 9 requirements, the SPPI condition is not met if the lender has to make a settlement payment in the event of termination by the borrower (also referred to as early repayment gain).

Prepayment Features with Negative Compensation amends the existing requirements in IFRS 9 regarding termination rights in order to allow measurement at amortised cost (or, depending on the business model, at fair value through other comprehensive income) even in the case of negative compensation payments.

Under the amendments, the sign of the prepayment amount is not relevant, i. e. depending on the interest rate prevailing at the time of termination, a payment may also be made in favour of the contracting party effecting the early repayment. The calculation of this compensation payment must be the same for both the case of an early repayment penalty and the case of a early repayment gain.

During redeliberations, the IASB decided not to confirm the second eligibility condition (insignificant fair value of the prepayment feature at initial recognition) proposed in ED/2017/3.

Clarification regarding the modification of financial liabilities

The final amendments also contain (in the Basis for Conclusions) a clarification regarding the accounting for a modification or exchange of a financial liability measured at amortised cost that does not result in the derecognition of the financial liability. The IASB clarifies that an entity recognises any adjustment to the amortised cost of the financial liability arising from a modification or exchange in profit or loss at the date of the modification or exchange. A retrospective change of the accounting treatment may therefore become necessary if in the past the effective interest rate was adjusted and not the amortised cost amount.

 

Effective date and transition requirements

The amendments are to be applied retrospectively for fiscal years beginning on or after 1 January 2019, i. e. one year after the first application of IFRS 9 in its current version. Early application is permitted so entities can apply the amendments together with IFRS 9 if they wish so. Additional transitional requirements and corresponding disclosure requirements must be observed when applying the amendments for the first time.

 

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