BusinessCompany NewsBarclays CEO pinpoints consistent accounting standards as crisis remedy

Barclays CEO pinpoints consistent accounting standards as crisis remedy

John Varley says global accounting consistency is one of the ingredients necessary to cook up a remedy to fight off the threat of another financial meltdown

Barclays CEO John Varley has flagged up the need for global consistency of
accounting standards if another financial crisis is to be avoided in the future.

His comments, made at the banking giant’s AGM this morning, come a day after
Alistair Darling called for single set of accounting standards to help shine a
light on the risks banks are taking.

Varley said that the causes of the crisis had been well-doucumented and then
set out what needed to be done in response.

‘It’s also clear to us that there is growing consensus around the world as to
the ingredients of the remedy. The list is quite long, but it includes:

strengthening macro prudential supervision (that is: looking at risks across
banks, not just within individual banks);

improving the regulation and transparency of liquidity in the banking system;

ensuring that the rights of depositors are well protected;

introducing a new regulatory environment for the credit rating agencies;

reviewing compensation practices and policies in the industry; and

creating consistency of accounting standards and definition across the
world.’

He added: ‘The items on that list will, I think you’ll find, feature in many
of the assessments by individuals and institutions (the Financial Stability
Forum and the Turner Review would be two) who are anxious, as we are, to prevent
a recurrence of the crisis.’

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