| LONDON, March 1
LONDON, March 1 The United States has won a
three-year stay on its membership of an accounting oversight
panel, keeping alive hopes for a single set of global
book-keeping rules that will help investors assess companies.
Leaders from world's top 20 economies (G20) have repeatedly
called on the United States and the International Accounting
Standards Board (IASB) to align their rules so that investors
can compare companies easily.
The United States has yet to say if it will adopt IASB
standards, prompting the G20 this month to tell both sides to
come up with an alignment plan by December.
The U.S. foot-dragging raised questions about its membership
of the IASB Monitoring Board, made up of five global regulators
including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the
European Commission and Japan's Financial Services Agency.
The board said on Friday it had toughened up membership
criteria to prepare for expansion to include members from
emerging markets, and would check in 2016 if members met new
Membership had hinged on a broad commitment to support
global rules but extra conditions have been added such as
requiring members to demonstrate the use of IASB standards in a
"prominent" way, and to participate in IASB funding.
This puts pressure on the world's biggest capital market to
say if it will adopt IASB rules and cough up more money.
The United States has several IASB board seats but only
provides 5 percent of funding, though it already allows more
than 500 foreign companies listed in the United States to file
statements using IASB rules.
The board said a country's commitment to IASB rules would be
judged on whether it allowed its companies to use the rules in
Accounting industry officials say this puts pressure on the
SEC to give domestic listings the option of using IASB rules.
Many big U.S. companies want to use IASB rules but
domestic-focused companies are wary of transition costs, while
others simply think the U.S. system is superior to IASB.
Makoto Sonoda, a senior official at Japan's FSA said on
Monday the Monitoring Board would be expanded, perhaps with up
to four regulators from emerging markets.