The FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams wrote a letter to FASB urging a delay in transitions to, and exclusions from, certain accounting rules. She suggests exclusion of COVID-19-related modifications from being considered a concession when determining a troubled debt restructuring classification and granting financial institutions that are subject to the current expected credit losses (CECL) methodology an option to postpone implementation of CECL, given the current economic environment. For the country's community banks, she also suggested imposing a moratorium on the effective date for the institutions that are not currently required to implement CECL to allow these financial institutions to focus on immediate business challenges relating to the impact of the current pandemic and its effect on the financial system.
In view of the ongoing unprecedented challenges resulting from COVID-19, FDIC is concerned that the scheduled introduction of recently enacted accounting standards may strain the ability of financial institutions to serve their depositors and prudently meet the credit needs of their communities. Institutions will face unique difficulties, over the coming weeks and months, to adequately staff customer-facing functions; ensure that deposit, loan, and IT systems operate normally; help borrowers that are experiencing unanticipated cash flow difficulties; and address the earnings and capital implications of near zero percent interest rates; and a potential surge in borrowers who are unable to meet contractual payment terms. In her letter, she encouraged "FASB to take these much needed actions to allow banks to help their communities at this time of need."
Keywords: Americas, US, Accounting, Banking, CECL, IFRS 9, Troubled Debt Restructuring, NPLs, COVID 19, FASB, FDIC
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