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IFRS 17: Global insurance bodies say one-year delay not enough to fix problems and implement standard properly

A group of 11 insurance associations from around the world has written a joint letter to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) chair, Hans Hoogervorst, calling for a two-year delay to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17, which covers insurance contracts. The letter follows the IASB’s decision to propose a one-year deferral of the effective date of the standard.

While recognizing the decision to delay the effective dates of IFRS 17 and IFRS 9, which covers financial instruments, the letter highlights that a two-year deferral is needed to both fix the problems with IFRS 17 and to give insurers enough time to implement the standard properly.  

A successful implementation in all jurisdictions that will use IFRS 17 is critical to deliver the high quality and useful information that investors, analysts and other users are expecting. Therefore, it is vital that the IASB takes the time necessary to consider potential amendments to the standard. The letter also highlights that the information resulting from the EFRAG case study exercise, as well as the ongoing implementation projects, constitutes new information which should be taken into account when considering amendments.

The letter adds that there is no expectation that a two-year delay would stop or even slow down implementation insurers’ projects: rather it would simply allow companies to cope with operational and, where relevant, regulatory impacts.

The full letter is available here.

Published 7 December 2018