FDIC's Bair-new accounting rules provoke heartburn

WASHINGTON Tue Aug 4, 2009 10:40am EDT

WASHINGTON Aug 4 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators on Tuesday said they harbor serious concerns about the timing of new accounting rules that could force banks to move more assets onto their books.

Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, said the timing of the implementation of the so-called off-balance-sheet rules "gives me some heartburn" and could hamper the recovery of the securitization market.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board made changes in May to rules that could force banks to move more assets onto their books, and could affect trillions of dollars of off-balance-sheet assets when they take effect in 2010.

U.S. Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan also said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing that he is concerned about the timing of the implementation and said regulators will issue guidance "shortly" on how banks should handle the accounting changes. (Reporting by Karey Wutkowski, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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