FRS 17 hits FTSE 100 for £77bn
The controversial accounting standard FRS 17 has left companies with a £77bn aggregate pension deficit, almost equalling their combined profits, a new study by investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston has found.
Link: FRS 17 special
CSFB found the situation was even worse for small companies were the accounting rule took the deficit to £13.1bn or 132% of operation profits.
Amongst the FTSE 100, BAE (628%), Rolls Royce (420%) and Pearson (330%) were some of the companies hardest hit.
FRS 17 forces companies to account for pension assets and liabilities on the balance sheet, and produces a snapshot based on market valuation It takes effect in parts until June this year when companies must comply fully.
The Accounting Standards Board, which developed the rule, has refused to back down despite a potential clash between FRS 17 and international accounting standards, which all EU companies must adopt by 2005.