The Financial Accounting Standards Board may change some accounting rules to make it more difficult for banks to get subprime loans off their books.

At an accounting conference at Baruch College in New York, FASB Chairman Robert Herz said the rules might require banks to keep loans on their books that they previously have been able to package and sell off or securitize, according to the Wall Street Journal.

FASB voted last month to eliminate special securitization vehicles. Herz said banks would have to use other rules for off-balance-sheet vehicles and that these rules might get tougher as well. In addition, banks could face more rigid tests for which assets could remain off their books.

At the same conference, Conrad Hewitt, chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that the United States must adopt International Financial Reporting Standards by 2011 in order to compete in global capital markets, according to BNA's Daily Tax Report. By that time, Hewitt predicted, most other countries will have switched to IFRS, and U.S. companies will have trouble raising capital abroad if they continue using U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.


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