Banks eye US accounting standards

European banks are considering adopting detailed US-style
disclosures in an effort to calm jittery investors who have driven down the
value of bank shares in the last months because of uncertainties surrounding the
level of losses sustained by the banks.

The new
international accounting
will mean banks have to provide more information than before.
Financial Times reports some financial teams are considering new US
requirements, which are more elaborate.

‘The systems the banks have are producing this information
anyway, so it is not a stretch for them to present it in that way,’ Mark Rhys, a
banking audit partner, said.

‘The danger is (that) people take a particular footnote (in a
set of accounts) out of all proportion. Someone could go around and look at,
say, line five of note 27 and try and compare each of the banks when it is not
that straightforward because they are all different businesses.’

Further reading:

IASB in discussions to put SIVs on balance

EU may have to accept US GAAP next year

the story in Financial Times

Related reading

Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.