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IFRS 9 and IFRS 17 dominate ECON exchange of views

  • IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) (blue) Image
  • European Union Image

19 Mar 2018

At the annual exchange of views this afternoon between the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) of the European Parliament and representatives of the IASB and the IFRS Foundation, Parliamentarians were most interested in Information about IFRS 9 'Financial Instruments' and IFRS 17 'Insurance Contracts'.

The meeting was chaired by ECON Vice-Chair Luděk Niedermayer who in his introduction already mentioned the topics IFRS 9/sustainable finance (impact of IFRS 9 on long-term finance) and IFRS 17, which has not yet been endorsed for use in the European Union.

The focus of the IASB Chairman's initial statement was IFRS 17, which he called the IASB's "most important standard". He showed some slides that illustrated the dimensions of the change the new standard would bring about. Given the magnitude of change, Mr Hoogervorst explained, there was also resistance against it and the high costs of implementing the standard were often cited. He could not help adding that the estimation of the costs were inversely related to the enthusiasm for the standard of the person estimating. Finally, Mr Hoogervorst pointed at tomorrow's EFRAG meeting that will see presentations by AccountancyEurope, CRUF, and an asset management company. (Papers for the meeting are available here; the meeting will be broadcast.)

Questions from the Parliamentarians on IFRS 17 included why it was perceived as so difficult to implement, why companies were against using current interest rates if for their own well-being they were surely already thinking in current interest rates, and whether the EU being the most important IFRS applying  jurisdiction could still influence the timeframe of implementation of the standard, which was perceived as being to short.

Questions on IFRS 9 included the effects of the standard on long-term finance (which EFRAG is currently investigating) and whether IFRS 9 is really an improvement over IAS 39 as IAS 39 already required writing down impaired assets. The discussion around IFRS 9 and long-term finance also strayed in to wider corporate reporting and the IASB project to update the Practice Statement on Management Commentary.

Other topics of discussion shortly touched upon were the Conceptual Framework (expected timing end of the month, "prudence" is in it), IFRS 16 (implementation is going smoothly, it is not expected to impact access to loans), and the succession of Michel Prada (candidates are being identified, interviews will be held in April, proposals will be submitted to the Monitoring Board in June).

The meeting has been recorded and is available here.

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