Although not unexpected, given the board’s posturing before its last meeting, the news will come as a major blow to the large number of opponents to the plan. Many had campaigned for so-called broad-based share option schemes, where all employees are entitled to a stake in the company, to be exempted from being expensed as another form of payment.
It is feared that such a move will force many companies to cut back on such plans or even abandon them altogether.
‘We are very disappointed by the lack of any substantial discussion by the IASB on all employee share plans,’ said Diane Hay, chief executive of ProShare. ‘It seems the IASB has again not listened to the views expressed by those responding to its draft rules consultation.’
Buoyed by the success that financial institutions had in encouraging the commission to intervene over financial instruments standards IAS32 & 39, ProShare is now looking to explore a similar avenue over stock options.
‘We will continue to present arguments for the exemption of all employee share plans by taking this to the European Commission,’ added Hay.