Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): Chapter 3 of the Government’s report, on loss absorbency, seems, perhaps reasonably, to take for granted the adequacy of accounting standards. I press the Chancellor in his forthcoming White Paper to consider seriously the pernicious effects of the international financial reporting standards, which were applied to banks by the previous Government.
Mr Osborne: There is a debate to be had about international accounting rules and their impact on the financial crisis, which I am happy to have with my hon. Friend in person. There are moves afoot to make the international bodies that set the standards more accountable by using the Financial Stability Board. He raises a good issue.
For more on my reasons for asking, see The law of opposites: Illusory profits in the financial sector:
Accurate accounting is at the root of the legal and scrutiny framework; without accurate accounts basic laws are incapable of enforcement. This report argues that international accounting rules have given the impression of illusory profits on bank balance sheets, inflating bonuses and creating perverse incentives for banks to act recklessly.