IASB Seeks CU Input on Fair Value Measurements

WOCCU Coordinating Response; Input Due Jan. 28

January 25, 2010

Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: (608) 395-2000

MADISON, Wis. — In response to issues raised by global financial organizations, including World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is seeking clarification from credit unions and other financial services providers in emerging and transition economies on issues surrounding fair value measurements as described in the current International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) draft. WOCCU is asking its member organizations to share examples of situations in which the requirement to use fair value accounting may be impractical for credit unions.

Last September, WOCCU submitted a comment letter to IASB strongly supporting the board's reassessment of fair value measurement in light of the ongoing global economic recession. WOCCU specifically raised issues on the unintended consequences the standards may have had on some financial cooperatives and their restrictive influence on institutional mergers. IASB last week contacted WOCCU and other organizations asking for input, specifically "examples and case studies of transactions or situations...that would make the fair value measurement guidance as proposed in the exposure draft impractical."

"We're pleased IASB is reconsidering its position and has come back to WOCCU requesting information to help them craft a better standard," said Dave Grace, WOCCU vice president of association services and author of September's letter. "I am asking our entire membership for examples in which fair value standards have proved impractical for credit unions."

In its response to WOCCU, IASB cited concerns that:

  • the proposed fair value measurement guidance is not detailed enough to allow IASB to develop fair value estimates on a consistent basis
  • there is limited availability of practitioners with sufficient skills to apply necessary guidance, resulting in difficulties in applying critical judgements to affected entities
  • there is limited access to market data to develop fair value measurements because there are few deep and active markets, few willing buyers and sellers and prices often fluctuate considerably
  • developing fair value estimates and preparing the resulting disclosures can be expensive

Final comments are due to IASB Jan. 31, after which the board will evaluate and consider amending inadequate proposals in the exposure draft and issuing educational materials covering application of the fair value measurement principles. All WOCCU member input should be submitted to Grace at no later than Jan. 28 for compilation and distribution to IASB.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at