On 13 October 2008, the International Accounting Standards Board issued Reclassification of Financial Assets (Amendments to IAS 39 and IFRS 7). The amendments have an effective date of 1 July 2008.
The amendments to IAS 39 introduce the possibility of reclassifications for companies applying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs), which were already permitted under US generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in rare circumstances.
The deterioration of the world’s financial markets that has occurred during the third quarter of this year is a possible example of rare circumstances cited in these IFRS amendments and therefore justifies their immediate publication.
These amendments are the latest in a series of steps that the IASB has undertaken to respond to the credit crisis. The IASB has worked with a number of other regional and international bodies, including the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), to address financial reporting issues associated with the credit crisis. In responding to the crisis, the IASB notes the concern expressed by EU leaders and finance ministers through the ECOFIN Council to ensure that ‘European financial institutions are not disadvantaged vis-à-vis their international competitors in terms of accounting rules and of their interpretation.’
The amendments address the desire to reduce differences between IFRSs and US GAAP in a manner that produces high quality financial information for investors across the global capital markets.