London (Feb. 13, 2004) -- The chairman of the oversight body of the International Accounting Standards Board announced plans to form a consultative group made up of senior officials from European banking, securities and insurance regulators, as well as from the accounting, banking and insurance industries, to advise the IASB.

Paul Volcker, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation Trustees, said the new group will focus on certain basic issues related to the application of accounting standards to financial institutions. Volcker said the idea grew out of the group’s discussions with the European Commission, which is invited to participate in the consultative group’s discussions as an observer.

“It is both the Trustees’ and the IASB’s hope that the establishment of this high-level advisory group will mark the first of many steps taken by the IASB aimed at developing a consensus on these difficult conceptual issues,” Volcker said.

While changes are being finalized for the existing financial instruments standards (IASs 32 and 39), Volcker noted that broader issues remain concerning the use of fair value accounting, particularly for regulated financial institutions. The group will advise the IASB on issues such as the application of fair value accounting for regulated financial institutions in the banking and insurance industries, as well as issues related to the financial instruments standards to be finalized in March.

-- WebCPA staff

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