Speaking during Commons Committee debate on the application of IAS to British building societies, he said: ‘Things are moving in the right direction. We would have liked to get further than we have, but I am confident that progress will be maintained.’
Timms was replying to comments by Lib Dem Shadow Trade Secretary Vince Cable, who complained of the complexity facing companies operating in British, European and American jurisdictions.
He said the difference between American and European standards could pose a major barrier to investment flows and trade.
Timms said there were discussions between regulators in the US and the IAS Board about convergence, claiming that ‘both sides recognise the importance of mutually acceptable accounting standards.’
He also made clear the UK’s opposition to the Wim Kok report suggesting a second financial services action plan is needed to secure a single EU financial services market.
He said: ‘Our view is that it would not be the right thing to do. We have had plenty of legislation and regulation, and the priority now must be to ensure that what we have is properly implemented and enforced, rather than devising another raft of legislative measures.’
He said considerable benefits would flow from the more integrated financial services market in Europe.
The IAS building society regulations, implementing a level playing field with companies while allowing some societies to choose when and whether to adopt IAS, were formally approved in the Commons on Monday [13 Dec04],
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