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Home » IAS Faqs » FAQs



Indian Administrative Services FAQs
Why did the Commission carve out the full fair value option in the
original IAS 39 standard ?

The Commission carved out the provisions relating to the full fair value option
because of concerns expressed by the European Central Bank and prudential
supervisors represented in the Basel Committee of banking supervisors. The IASB
recognised these concerns and was working on the preparation of an amended IAS
39 standard for a restricted fair value option.
Given that EU undertakings had to apply International Financial Reporting Standards
(IFRSs) from 1st January 2005, the Commission decided on 19th November 2004 that
the only available course of action in the circumstances was to adopt the original IAS
39 standard leaving out certain parts of the standard that were considered not
suitable. (Certain provisions relating to hedge accounting were also carved out.) The
Commission is not a standard setter and has no intention of becoming one. The two
carve-outs were exceptional and temporary pending adoption of the improved
standards by the IASB. After extensive consultation with third parties, on June 16th
2005 the IASB published an amended version of IAS 39: Recognition and
Measurement the Fair Value Option (FVO).

Do prudential supervisors support IAS 39 FVO as published by the
The amended standard benefits from wide support, both from the financial services
industry as well as from the European Central Bank and the Basle Committee of
banking supervisors.

When will the Commission to adopt amended standard for IAS 39
Given the importance of rapid endorsement of the amended standard, the
Commission has prepared a draft Commission Regulation which was unanimously
approved by Member States at the Accounting Regulatory Committee on 8th July.
The Commission has consulted the European Parliament on the draft Regulation
and, provided Parliament raises no objections, it is the Commission's intention to
formally adopt the amended standard as soon as possible. Subject to the availability
of all language versions, formal endorsement by the Commission should take place
by end September.

Will companies be able to apply the amended standard for their 2005
financial statements ?
Adoption will be retroactive to 1st January 2005, so that companies can apply the
amended standard for their 2005 financial statements. In particular, although formal
endorsement by the Commission should take place by end September, the
Commission would draw attention to the requirement under the transitional
arrangements for the designation of financial assets and liabilities at fair value
through profit and loss to be completed by 1st September 2005.

Does the amended standard for IAS 39 FVO meet the EU endorsement
criteria ?
The Commission considers that the amended standard meets the criteria for the
adoption of an international accounting standard under Article 3(2) of the IAS
regulation. In particular, the amended standard is not contrary to the principal of
providing a "true and fair view" of a company and is conducive to the European
public good. Whereas the fair value option under the original standard was
unrestricted, the amended standard provides for a restricted, principles-based fair
value option whose application is combined with extensive disclosure requirements.

What about the relationship between the fair valuation of own liabilities
under the amended IAS 39 FVO standard and under Article 42(a) of the
Fourth Company Law Directive ?
The Commission has given careful consideration to the fact that the amended fair
value option permits the fair valuation of own liabilities, in particular own debt
instruments, whereas this is prohibited under Article 42(a) of the Fourth Company
Law Directive. This prohibition does not present a legal impediment to the adoption
of IAS 39 FVO. Indeed Recital (9) of the IAS Regulation explicitly states that subject
to the application of a standard resulting in a "true and fair view of the financial
position and performance of an enterprise", there does not need to be "a strict
conformity with each and every provision of the accounting directives."

Will the Commission now propose amending Article 42(a) of the Fourth
Company Directive?
The established policy of the Commission has always been to seek to have a
relatively homogeneous accounting environment in the EU between listed
companies, falling under the IAS regulation, and non-listed companies, falling under
the accounting Directives. For precisely this reason, the Commission adapted the
existing accounting Directives by means of the so-called Fair Value and
Modernisation Directives1. Consequently, the Commission now proposes to examine
whether the 4th Company Law directive should be amended and if so, how.

Are the different approaches to the fair valuation of own liabilities
under the amended IAS 39 FVO and the 4th Company Law Directive
Pending examination of possible amendment to the 4th Company Law directive, the
Commission considers that the different approaches under IAS 39 FVO and the 4th
Company Law Directive will be manageable for a number of reasons.
The amended IAS 39 Fair Value Option is restricted and its application subject
to the respect of principles.
Furthermore, its application is combined with extensive disclosure requirements
that will allow users and analysts to assess the impact of the FVO.
As regards prudentially supervised entities (e.g. banks or insurers), whether
these are listed or non-listed, prudential supervisors will be able to take action
by invoking their supervisory powers, where they consider that the accounting
practices used lead to inappropriate results from a prudential perspective.

What about the remaining IAS 39 carve-out relating to certain hedge
accounting provisions?
As regards the removal of the carve-out relating to certain hedge accounting
provisions, the Commission has been closely monitoring the on-going discussions
between the European Banking Federation and the IASB. The Commission calls
upon both the European Banking Federation and the IASB to redouble their efforts to
find an appropriate technical solution as rapidly as possible. In the interim, the
Commission reminds interested parties of the legal position regarding the excluded
hedge accounting provisions. Because there is no existing EU law on this issue,
individual companies may apply the 'carved out' hedge accounting provisions, if they
wish to do so.

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