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New UK accounting body faces first big test with insurers


LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Britain’s new body overseeing accounting guidelines following Brexit mentioned it was braced for a “lot of noise” from the 1.7 trillion pound ($2.33 trillion) insurance coverage sector about measures to extend transparency of economic positions and efficiency.

Departure from the European Union meant Britain needed to arrange its personal body to endorse worldwide accounting guidelines, a job beforehand undertaken by Brussels, with the first big test subsequent month involving insurance coverage accounting rule IFRS 17.

Pauline Wallace, a 30-year veteran in accounting who’s interim chair of the UK Endorsement Board (UKEB), mentioned the body will seek the advice of in November on endorsing the rule which comes into drive globally in January 2023.

“We are running against quite a tight deadline,” Wallace informed Reuters.

The UKEB should bear in mind the long-term affect of an accounting rule on the UK economic system and its competitiveness in contrast with Europe and elsewhere, with authorities eager for Britain to bolster its attractiveness as a world funding centre following Brexit.

IFRS guidelines are written by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to be used in over 140 jurisdictions and are endorsed on the nationwide stage to be used.

IFRS 17 represents one of many largest adjustments for insurers in many years, shining a lightweight right into a “black box” of stability sheets whose opaqueness has delay many buyers.

Wallace mentioned the session will ask if IFRS 17 needs to be utilized as written by the IASB, including that she has not heard any requires main ‘carve outs’.

“We can also not endorse. That is the nuclear option. I don’t think that’s anything anybody wants,” Wallace mentioned.

She expects a “lot of noise” from trade, particularly over the remedy of with-profits funds.

“The insurance industry is very good at making their views known. Insurance companies are not the only stakeholders in this. Investors are very keen to see better accounting in insurance,” she informed Reuters.

The Association of British Insurers mentioned it had no touch upon IFRS 17 at this stage.

Following heavy lobbying from Europe’s insurance coverage sector, the EU is placing some contracts into shorter time brackets, a key demand from insurers in southern Europe.

Wallace mentioned she was not listening to calls for the same transfer within the UK.

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Reporting by Huw Jones;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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