General Insurance Article - Willis Towers Watson welcomes IASB decision to delay IFRS 17

Willis Towers Watson welcomes this week’s announcement by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), which has voted to propose a one-year deferral of the mandatory effective date for IFRS 17 to 1 January 2022.

 The Board also decided to propose extending the temporary exemption for insurers to apply the financial instruments Standard, IFRS 9, to 2022 so that both IFRS 9 and IFRS 17 can be applied at the same time. This proposal is subject to a public consultation, which is expected next year. This deferral comes after nine industry bodies representing insurers in major markets around the world wrote to the IASB earlier in 2018 setting out a case for a two-year delay.

 Based on feedback received from stakeholders, IASB staff have identified 25 areas of concern and the Board has confirmed that it will commence discussions about potential amendments to IFRS 17 at its December 2018 meeting.

 In response to the announcement, Kamran Foroughi, a Senior Director at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Willis Towers Watson welcomes the delay in implementing the timetable. However, this does not mean that insurers should delay IFRS 17 implementation projects, but rather it will allow preparers to adopt a value-add approach instead of struggling to achieve minimum compliance. Insurers will also now have some capacity to consider business implications earlier and in a more measured way.

 “Given the current status, insurers should definitely keep going with ongoing IFRS 17 projects. But with the additional time, one practical short-term step is to revisit the project plans and consider what key aspects can now change given the additional 12 months.

 In our experience, this will reduce project risks, enable more contingency time and enable more testing of processes and systems, including the ability to perform and implement improvements resulting from dry runs.”

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