Tweedie warning for ASB successor

ASB chairman Sir David Tweedie’s comments came just weeks ahead of the announcement of the board’s new chairman. ‘We need a strong ASB debating the issues, taking on the Americans, taking on the IASC,’ Sir David said, dismissing concerns over the future role of the UK’s standard setter.

There is growing concern that the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s arguments, and those of the International Accounting Standards Committee, where Sir David takes over as the new secretary general, would overshadow any debate on the development of global accounting rules.

Sir David urged the new board and its chairman to ‘get in early’ in order to shape the direction. ‘It should not always be the IASC versus the Americans.

That would be pretty unhealthy. ‘I see the ASB being a major force in Europe, helping shape European ideas on the IASC debate and being the conduit for the views of the UK on the international debate.’

A number of UK standards, such as leasing and stock options, have become accepted international standards. Sir David said he hoped this would continue.

But, he said, ‘only the best arguments win’, and forewarned about the stiff competition the UK board would face in putting forward its ideas to the ‘toughies’ on the IASC board.

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