Over the last decade globalization and deregulation have had a major impact on the way business is conducted. As a result, there has also been a dramatic change in the role of traditional commercial banks and their daily activities. They have taken over new functions and products such as complex financial instruments. Unfortunately, for the sake of competition, commercial banks have taken new and higher risks which led to a number of serious problems in the financial sector worldwide.
It is crucial that users of financial statements are able to assess the performance of banks from the perspective of investors and also from the perspective of depositors. But disclosure practices have not kept pace with the growth and innovation in the banking sector.
International disclosure standards would increase transparency and comparability and therefore could help to guarantee a stable banking system. It would also increase the incentives for banks to monitor and manage their banking risks.
On the occasion of the fourteenth session (1-5 July) of UNCTAD´s Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting, a one-day forum on commercial bank disclosure is being organized on 4 July (10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 6 pm). The purpose is to facilitate an exchange among bank regulators, bank managers and the users of the financial statements of banks.
The forum will be comprised of six panellists and will be chaired by Dr. Herbert Biener, Ministerial Counsellor at the Ministry of Justice in Germany, who negotiated and implemented the EU Directive on Bank Accounts for his country. Their presentations will be followed by an open discussion. The panel consists of:
- David Darbyshire, Partner, Arthur Andersen & Co., Russian Federation
As a bank auditor practising in the Russian banking sector, Mr. Darbyshire will provide new insights into this emerging market and what measures need to be taken to ensure its stability and growth.
- Jurgen Krumnow, Member of the Board of Managing Directors, Deutsche Bank AG, Germany
Deutsche Bank led the way among German banks by moving to international accounting standards (IAS) earlier this year in order to give shareholders a greater insight into its financial performance.
- Hugo Lavados, Chief Executive Officer, Banco BHIF, Chile
Mr. Lavados will be able to give an insight into the state of affairs in the field of bank disclosures in Latin America.
- Geoffrey Mitchell, Group Financial Services Director, Barclays Bank PLC, United Kingdom
Mr. Mitchell is responsible for Group Accounting policies and for the implementation of a new Group reporting system at Barclays. He became actively involved in setting accounting standards when he was appointed Secretary-General of the International Accounting Standards Committee in 1981 and he still participates in the review of proposed standards through membership of committees of several professional bodies.
- Osamu Takemoto, Chief Data Analysis Group, Bank Supervision Department, Bank of Japan
Despite some recent improvements in the profitability of Japanese banks, analysts offer a rather pessimistic outlook on the recovery of the financial system. Since it is the task of the Bank of Japan to ensure financial stability, Mr. Takemoto´s presentation should be of interest.
- Stefan Walter, Basle Committee on Banking Supervision, Switzerland
Recently , the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision has studied banking exposure relating to financial derivative transactions. Mr. Walter will give guidance on bank accounting and disclosure issued by the Basle Committee.
For more information, please contact:
Lorraine Ruffing, Division for Transnational Corporations and Investment
T: +41 22 907 5802
F: +41 22 907 0195
Carine Richard-Van Maele, Press Officer of UNCTAD
T: +41 22 907 5816/28
F: +41 22 907 0043