Canada Regulator Requires Big Banks to Adopt IFRS 9 Early

BNA SnapshotCanada Advisory on International Accounting Standards  Key Development: Canadian regulators want systemically significant banks in Canada to proceed with early adoption of the International Accounting Standards Board's IFRS 9.  Takeaway: The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) rejects suggestions that early adoption will disadvantage Canadian banks with respect to European counterparts.  By Peter MenyaszCanada's federal financial services regulator has issued a final advisory on early adoption by domestic systemically important banks of new international accounting standards on measuring losses on loans, derivatives and other assets.  The final advisory confirms the expectation for domestic, systemically important banks to adopt the International Accounting Standards Board's IFRS 9 for annual periods starting Nov. 1, 2017, Deputy Superintendent of Financial Institutions Mark Zelmer said Jan. 9 in a letter to all federally regulated financial entities.  Early adoption of the new accounting standards will better align implementation of the new requirements with those of other federally regulated financial entities and foreign banks that report under international financial reporting standards, including many global systemically important banks based in Europe, Zelmer said.  “It will also help to ensure that implementation details in Canada are worked out with domestic systemically important banks before smaller, less systemic federally regulated entities with annual periods beginning Jan. 1, 2018 have to adopt the standard,” he said. “During the implementation period, OSFI [the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions] will monitor the endorsement process of other jurisdictions, including the European Union.”  The final advisory document also incorporates—to consolidate the agency's guidance to major banks on IFRS implementation—the applicable sections of OSFI's March 2010 advisory entitled Conversion to International Financial Reporting Standards by Federally Regulated Entities and its February 2014 letter entitled Early Adoption of Amendments to IFRS 9—General Hedging and Own Credit Risk.  Implementation of IASB's new IFRS 9 standards, the final version of which were issued in July 2014, is mandatory for Canadian banks as of Jan. 1, 2018, the federal agency said in the final advisory. Early...

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