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COVID-19 and IFRS 9 expected credit losses for banks

The subjective nature of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments means banks are facing difficult decisions when it comes to applying the standard in a world grappling with the health and economic impacts of coronavirus.

Banks can play a key role in ensuring individuals and businesses survive the crisis and are positioned to resume economic activity through the transmission of government support and additional relief measures.

The key financial reporting challenge is how they distinguish between support measures which impact on credit risk over the expected life of financial assets vs those which address temporary liquidity constraints.