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IASB publishes proposed amendments to IAS 39 and IFRS 9 in the context of the IBOR reform

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03 May 2019

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has published an exposure draft 'Interest Rate Benchmark Reform (Proposed amendments to IFRS 9 and IAS 39)' that constitutes a first reaction to the potential effects the IBOR reform could have on financial reporting. Comments are requested by 17 June 2019.

 

Background

Interbank offered rates (IBORs) are interest reference rates, such as LIBOR, EURIBOR and TIBOR, that represent the cost of obtaining unsecured funding, in a particular combination of currency and maturity and in a particular interbank term lending market.

Recent market developments have brought into question the long-term viability of those benchmarks. The Board is monitoring further developments in this regard in order to determine whether there are any implications for the existing accounting requirements. The focus of the project is currently on financial instruments although an IBOR reform would later definitely also have impact on any standard dealing with discounting.

The amendments proposed today deal with issues affecting financial reporting in the period before the replacement of an existing interest rate benchmark with an alternative interest rate and consider the implications for specific hedge accounting requirements in IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, which require forward-looking analysis. 

 

Suggested changes

The changes proposed in ED/2019/1 Interest Rate Benchmark Reform (Proposed amendments to IFRS 9 and IAS 39)

  • modify specific hedge accounting requirements so that entities would apply those hedge accounting requirements assuming that the interest rate benchmark on which the hedged cash flows and cash flows from the hedging instrument are based will not be altered as a result of interest rate benchmark reform;
  • require specific disclosures about the extent to which the entities' hedging relationships are affected by the proposed amendments; and
  • note that the amendments would be mandatory.

The proposed amendments also note that the Boards proposes to amend the hedge accounting requirements only as specified in the exposure draft and that the proposals are not intended to provide relief from any other consequences arising from interest rate benchmark reform. Moreover, the exposure draft notes that if a hedging relationship no longer meets the requirements for hedge accounting for reasons other than those specified in the exposure draft, then discontinuation of hedge accounting is still required.

Comments on the proposed changes are requested by 17 June 2019.

 

Effective date

The exposure draft proposes that the amendments would be effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2020 and would be applied retrospectively. Early application would be permitted.

 

Additional information

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