BusinessCompany NewsIASB and banks clash over derivatives

IASB and banks clash over derivatives

A row over the highly contentious financial instrument standard, IAS 39, has erupted as the International Accounting Standards Board accused banks on the continent of hiding huge derivatives transactions by refusing to change their accounting practices.

Link: IASB to face protests over financial instruments

The row, which has been brewing since IAS 39 was revealed, flared up last week at the IASB round tables in Brussels. The board has been trying to force banks to account for derivatives and other financial instruments at fair value rather than the current method – historic cost.

The banks say accounting for derivatives in the way prescribed by IAS 39 would lead to more volatility in their balance sheets. But the vice-chairman of the IASB, Tom Jones, said the present accounting system was developed 20 years ago, when the market for derivatives was not as big as it is now. Presently, the derivatives market’s estimated worth is £81 trillion ($128 trillion).

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