It’s time for Europe to re-examine International Financial Reporting Standards

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The following letter was in the FT this morning:

Sir,

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards recently announced its intention to establish a panel to look into tax, audit and accounting issues. The panel is – among other things – considering whether the International Financial Reporting Standards contributed “to a box-ticking culture to the exclusion of promoting transparency and a true and fair view of the business”. As long-term investors, we welcome this panel.

Prudent accounts are vital to investors, not just for sustained growth but also to underpin executives’ accountability to shareholders (see “End the pernicious influence of US accounting rules” by Ben Levenstein and Robert Talbut, November 23). For this reason, the PCBS investigation into IFRS is to be warmly received. We urge EU policy makers to follow suit with their own investigation into whether IFRS provides a reliable basis for promoting long-term stewardship in Europe.

Eric Tracey, Partner, Governance for Owners

Daniel Summerfield, Co-head Responsible Investment, USS Investment Management

Frank Curtiss, Head of Corporate Governance, RPMI Railpen

Robert Talbut, CIO, Royal London Asset Management

Iain Richards, Head of Governance and Responsible Investment, Threadneedle Investments

Roger Collinge, Head of Corporate Governance Group, UK Shareholders Association

Ian Greenwood, Chairman, Local Authority Pension Fund Forum

Mark Fawcett, CIO, National Employment Savings Trust

Mike Taylor, Chief Executive, London Pension Fund Authority

Abigail Herron, Corporate Governance Manager, The Co-operative Asset Management

I do, of course, agree