UK standard-setter will ‘not shrink’ from taking own course in face of international pressure

The ASB chairman insisted the board supported the International Accounting Standards Committee’s moves to globalise financial reporting rules, but it would not shrink from taking its own course.

If a proposal by the IASC was similar to that of his own organisation, the ASB would adopt the international version, Sir David told a debate sponsored by the English ICA in Manchester last week.

However, if the UK body did not agree with the IASC approach it would go it alone and attempt to persuade other bodies to accept the ASB standard.

But it would eventually accept the international standard if the UK became isolated.

‘If we think method A should be used and the IASC says B and there is not much difference between them, then we will go with B,’ he said. ‘But if we think they are wrong we will stick where we are, though if we have failed to persuade the rest of the world after three or four years we must fall back into line with everyone else.’

IASC secretary general Sir Bryan Carsberg said that real progress had been made towards world-wide financial reporting standards but the ‘big prize’ of convincing the United States and Canada to adopt international regulations still had to be won.

He added that he knew of several large UK companies that were considering switching to the US standards, though he hoped that the impact of such moves would be limited by a gradual convergence between America and the rest of the world.

Call for push on international standards to head off US domination

Related reading