Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements
The following are those accounting pronouncements which have been adopted in the first six months of 2010 and which are relevant to the Group in the preparation of these condensed consolidated interim financial statements.
IFRS 3 and IAS 27
In January 2008, the IASB issued a revised version of IFRS 3, “Business Combinations” (“IFRS 3 R”), and an amended version of IAS 27, “Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements” (“IAS 27 R”). IFRS 3 R reconsiders the application of acquisition accounting for business combinations and IAS 27 R mainly relates to changes in the accounting for noncontrolling interests and the loss of control of a subsidiary. Under IFRS 3 R, the acquirer can elect to measure any noncontrolling interest on a transaction-by-transaction basis, either at fair value as of the acquisition date or at its proportionate interest in the fair value of the identifiable assets and liabilities of the acquiree. When an acquisition is achieved in successive share purchases (step acquisition), the identifiable assets and liabilities of the acquiree are recognized at fair value when control is obtained. A gain or loss is recognized in profit or loss for the difference between the fair value of the previously held equity interest in the acquiree and its carrying amount. IAS 27 R also requires the effects of all transactions with noncontrolling interests to be recorded in equity if there is no change in control. Transactions resulting in a loss of control result in a gain or loss being recognized in profit or loss. The gain or loss includes a remeasurement to fair value of any retained equity interest in the investee. In addition, all items of consideration transferred by the acquirer are measured and recognized at fair value, including contingent consideration, as of the acquisition date. Transaction costs incurred by the acquirer in connection with the business combination do not form part of the cost of the business combination transaction but are expensed as incurred unless they relate to the issuance of debt or equity securities, in which case they are accounted for under IAS 39, “Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement”. IFRS 3 R and IAS 27 R are effective for business combinations in annual periods beginning on or after July 1, 2009, with early application permitted provided that both standards are applied together. IFRS 3 R has been applied to the acquisition of the Sal. Oppenheim Group and parts of ABN AMRO’s commercial banking activities in the Netherlands. In contrast to prior acquisitions, all transaction costs have been expensed. For further detail, please refer to the section of this Interim Report. Compared to the prior versions of the standards, IFRS 3 R and IAS 27 R could have a material impact on the Group’s consolidated financial statements when acquisitions and dispositions take place.
Improvements to IFRS 2009
In April 2009, the IASB issued amendments to IFRS, which resulted from the IASB’s annual improvement project. They comprise amendments that result in accounting changes for presentation, recognition or measurement purposes as well as terminology or editorial amendments related to a variety of individual IFRS standards. Most of the amendments are effective for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2010, with earlier application permitted. The adoption of the amendments did not have a material impact on the Group’s consolidated financial statements.
New Accounting Pronouncements
The following accounting pronouncements will be relevant to the Group but were not effective as of June 30, 2010 and therefore have not been applied in preparing these financial statements.
Improvements to IFRS 2010
In May 2010, the IASB issued amendments to IFRS, which resulted from the IASB’s annual improvement project. They comprise amendments that result in accounting changes for presentation, recognition or measurement purposes as well as terminology or editorial amendments related to a variety of individual IFRS standards. Most of the amendments are effective for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2011, with earlier application permitted. While approved by the IASB, the amendments have yet to be endorsed by the EU. The Group is currently evaluating the potential impact that the adoption of the amendments will have on its consolidated financial statements.
In November 2009, the IASB issued a revised version of IAS 24, “Related Party Disclosures” (“IAS 24 R”). IAS 24 R provides a partial exemption from the disclosure requirements for government-related entities and clarifies the definition of a related party. The revised standard is effective for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2011, with earlier application permitted. The Group is currently evaluating the potential impact that the adoption of IAS 24 R will have on its consolidated financial statements.
In November 2009, the IASB issued IFRS 9, “Financial Instruments”, as a first step in its project to replace IAS 39, “Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement”. IFRS 9 introduces new requirements for how an entity should classify and measure financial assets that are in the scope of IAS 39. The standard requires all financial assets to be classified on the basis of the entity’s business model for managing the financial assets, and the contractual cash flow characteristics of the financial asset. A financial asset is measured at amortized cost if two criteria are met: (a) the objective of the business model is to hold the financial asset for the collection of the contractual cash flows, and (b) the contractual cash flows under the instrument solely represent payments of principal and interest. If a financial asset meets the criteria to be measured at amortized cost, it can be designated at fair value through profit or loss under the fair value option, if doing so would significantly reduce or eliminate an accounting mismatch. If a financial asset does not meet the business model and contractual terms criteria to be measured at amortized cost, then it is subsequently measured at fair value. IFRS 9 also removes the requirement to separate embedded derivatives from financial asset hosts. It requires a hybrid contract with a financial asset host to be classified in its entirety at either amortized cost or fair value. IFRS 9 requires reclassifications when the entity’s business model changes, which is expected to be an infrequent occurrence; in this case, the entity is required to reclassify affected financial assets prospectively. There is specific guidance for contractually linked instruments that create concentrations of credit risk, which is often the case with investment tranches in a securitization. In addition to assessing the instrument itself against the IFRS 9 classification criteria, management should also ‘look through’ to the underlying pool of instruments that generate cash flows to assess their characteristics. To qualify for amortized cost, the investment must have equal or lower credit risk than the weighted-average credit risk in the underlying pool of instruments, and those instruments must meet certain criteria. If a ‘look through’ is impracticable, the tranche must be classified at fair value through profit or loss. Under IFRS 9, all equity investments should be measured at fair value. However, management has an option to present directly in gains (losses) not recognized in the income statement unrealized and realized fair value gains and losses on equity investments that are not held for trading. Such designation is available on initial recognition on an instrument-by-instrument basis and is irrevocable. There is no subsequent recycling of fair value gains and losses to profit or loss; however, dividends from such investments will continue to be recognized in profit or loss. IFRS 9 is effective for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2013, with earlier application permitted. IFRS 9 should be applied retrospectively; however, if adopted before January 1, 2012, comparative periods do not need to be restated. While approved by the IASB, the standard has yet to be endorsed by the EU. The Group is currently evaluating the potential impact that the adoption of IFRS 9 will have on its consolidated financial statements.