In validating the value in use determined for the cash-generating units, the major value drivers of each cash-generating unit are reviewed annually. In addition, key assumptions used in the DCF model (for example, the discount rate and the earnings projections) are sensitized to test the resilience of value in use. Management believes that the only circumstance where reasonably possible changes in key assumptions might have caused an impairment loss to be recognized was in respect of Corporate Finance where the recoverable amount was 126 % of its respective carrying amount. An increase of approximately 20 % in the discount rate or a decrease of approximately 20 % in projected earnings in every year of the initial five-year period, assuming unchanged values for the other assumptions, would have caused the recoverable amount to equal the respective carrying amount.
The recoverable amount of Corporate Finance is based on, among other things, a financial plan which reflects management’s assumptions, such as expected development of global fee pools and market shares, which are key revenue drivers. While these estimates reflect management’s assessment and expectations of future economic conditions, it is inherently uncertain whether the reported amounts will actually be in line with plan. For example, if projected global fee pools do not develop as expected or assumed market shares are not achieved, revenues might significantly differ from plan assumptions, negatively impacting the recoverable amount of Corporate Finance.
The backdrop of a fragile recovery of the global economy and likely significant changes in the regulation of the banking industry as a result of the financial crisis, and its implications for the Group’s operating environment, may negatively impact the performance forecasts of certain of the Group’s cash-generating units and thus could result in an impairment of goodwill in the future.