The European Commission is currently consulting on a green paper considering possible ways for supporting long-term investment. The role accounting could play is introduced, questioning more particularly whether investments held with a long term horizon are best depicted when measured at fair value. The EU consultation page can be accessed here. Other documents on the topic could be accessed here.
In April 2013 EFRAG published its comment letter on the IASB's ED: Classification and Measurement: Limited Amendments to IFRS 9. EFRAG noted that the IASB has made an effort to identify a separate business model - the so called “held to collect and sell” model – for measurement and classification of financial instruments. Insurance and the long-term investment industries have typically indicated that the IASB was heading in the right direction to identify a third business model, but had failed to characterise it appropriately. EFRAG believes that unless more analysis is conducted, the IASB’s efforts to improve IFRS 9 as originally issued may be a missed opportunity.
In this context, EFRAG has decided to launch this public consultation with the aim to:
(a) characterise, in the context of financial reporting, a “long-term investment” business model;
(b) determine whether this ‘long-term investment’ business model could be supported by an appropriate objective evidence and what the observable characteristics are;
(c) identify whether this “long-term investment” business model is similar to the business model followed by companies, such as insurance companies, pension funds or other long-term investment entities;
(d) analyse whether such business model would justify specific accounting to bring greater relevance in financial reporting.
This public consultation will help EFRAG:
(a) contribute, in its role of technical advisor for financial reporting matters, to the European Commission consultation on the future of long-term investment;
(b) to better characterise long-term investment business models and contribute to accounting standard setting for such activities.
The public consultation closes on 25 June, 2013. Responses should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Constituents who would like to participate in calls or a round-table between issuers and investors to further discuss the topic, need to indicate their availability by 20 May, 2013 to email@example.com.
EFRAG's consultation document could be accessed below.