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WOCCU urges clear international disclosure standards for CUs and members
LONDON (1/29/13)--The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) has urged an International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) panel to make financial disclosures more succinct and easier to understand.

"Doing so would increase their meaningfulness to credit union members and reduce compliance burdens on credit unions," Michael Edwards, WOCCU vice president and chief counsel, said.

WOCCU made the recommendations at a Monday IASB Discussion Forum on Disclosures in Financial Reporting in London.

Edwards attended the disclosure forum and commented that complex financial disclosures are often impenetrable to people who are not financial professionals, such as most credit union members and small retail investors. He asked the panelists to consider simplifying financial disclosure requirements so that they are easier to prepare and more easily understandable to ordinary people.

"All credit unions would benefit from reduced accounting compliance burdens," WOCCU President/CEO Brian Branch added.

"Easily understandable financial disclosures will be most useful to credit union members in developing countries where shares and deposits are often not protected by savings guarantee schemes and many members do not have a university education," he said.

The panel will report these and other recommendations to IASB within the next two months, WOCCU said.

IASB sets International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which apply to credit unions in a growing number of jurisdictions including Australia, Brazil, and Canada. IASB and the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) are also in the process of converging IFRS with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, which will make U.S. credit unions subject to accounting rules that are the same as IFRS in most respects.

In April 2012, IASB and FASB issued a report predicting that they would jointly issue final accounting standards regarding financial instruments, leases and insurance contracts by mid-2013.


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