Following complaints by European Union finance ministers about a disparity between accounting standards in the region and the US, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has indicated that it will speed up the decision making process with regards to altering the rules in question. The IASB had originally planned a revision of IAS39 to be published in October, but has this week said a draft of the revisions will be available by July.
Earlier this year, the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) relaxed the rules for mark to market accounting in order to give more leeway to financial institutions when valuing hard to value assets in illiquid markets. As a result, European ministers, including Italy’s Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti and French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, have voiced concerns about the region’s banks being put at a disadvantage if the same rules do not apply in all jurisdictions.
This prompted the IASB to issue a statement that it would revise the rules by October, but this was deemed to be too slow by politicians. Accordingly, the standards body has expedited the process so that the rules will be in place before banks are required to compile their 2009 annual reports.