Non-US banks to miss out on relaxed rules

Banks that follow international accounting standards will miss out on the
reprieve that the US has given its banks.

The US Financial Accounting Standards board has given banks that report there
more flexibility in valuing financial assets than is currently allowed under
mark-to-market accounting.

Banks able to use their own valuation models rather than quoted market prices
to value toxic assets where there are no reliable transactions are expected to
receive a first-quarter earnings boost.

The international standard-setter is not expected to mimic the rule change.
Instead, it has said that it would continue with a full review of the accounting
for financial assets, and will release a draft proposal within six months.

In contrast, the FASB reached its decision on Thursday in a matter of weeks,
after it came under intense pressure from the US congress which said it would
mandate the changes if the standard-setter did not act.

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