Summary of Statement No. 166

Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets—an amendment of FASB Statement No. 140


Why Is the FASB Issuing This Statement and When Will It Be Effective?

The Board’s objective in issuing this Statement is to improve the relevance, representational faithfulness, and comparability of the information that a reporting entity provides in its financial statements about a transfer of financial assets; the effects of a transfer on its financial position, financial performance, and cash flows; and a transferor’s continuing involvement, if any, in transferred financial assets.   The Board undertook this project to address (1) practices that have developed since the issuance of FASB Statement No. 140, Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities, that are not consistent with the original intent and key requirements of that Statement and (2) concerns of financial statement users that many of the financial assets (and related obligations) that have been derecognized should continue to be reported in the financial statements of transferors.  

This Statement must be applied as of the beginning of each reporting entity’s first annual reporting period that begins after November 15, 2009, for interim periods within that first annual reporting period and for interim and annual reporting periods thereafter. Earlier application is prohibited.   This Statement must be applied to transfers occurring on or after the effective date.  

Additionally, on and after the effective date, the concept of a qualifying special-purpose entity is no longer relevant for accounting purposes.   Therefore, formerly qualifying special-purpose entities (as defined under previous accounting standards) should be evaluated for consolidation by reporting entities on and after the effective date in accordance with the applicable consolidation guidance.   If the evaluation on the effective date results in consolidation, the reporting entity should apply the transition guidance provided in the pronouncement that requires consolidation.  

Additionally, the disclosure provisions of this Statement should be applied to transfers that occurred both before and after the effective date of this Statement.  

What Is the Scope of This Statement?

This Statement has the same scope as Statement 140.   Accordingly, this Statement applies to all entities.

How Will This Statement Change Current Practice?

This Statement removes the concept of a qualifying special-purpose entity from Statement 140 and removes the exception from applying FASB Interpretation No. 46 (revised December 2003), Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities, to qualifying special-purpose entities.  

This Statement clarifies that the objective of paragraph 9 of Statement 140 is to determine whether a transferor and all of the entities included in the transferor’s financial statements being presented have surrendered control over transferred financial assets.   That determination must consider the transferor’s continuing involvements in the transferred financial asset, including all arrangements or agreements made contemporaneously with, or in contemplation of, the transfer, even if they were not entered into at the time of the transfer.   This Statement modifies the financial-components approach used in Statement 140 and limits the circumstances in which a financial asset, or portion of a financial asset, should be derecognized when the transferor has not transferred the entire original financial asset to an entity that is not consolidated with the transferor in the financial statements being presented and/or when the transferor has continuing involvement with the transferred financial asset.

This Statement defines the term participating interest to establish specific conditions for reporting a transfer of a portion of a financial asset as a sale.   If the transfer does not meet those conditions, a transferor should account for the transfer as a sale only if it transfers an entire financial asset or a group of entire financial assets and surrenders control over the entire transferred asset(s) in accordance with the conditions in paragraph 9 of Statement 140, as amended by this Statement.

The special provisions in Statement 140 and FASB Statement No. 65, Accounting for Certain Mortgage Banking Activities, for guaranteed mortgage securitizations are removed to require those securitizations to be treated the same as any other transfer of financial assets within the scope of Statement 140, as amended by this Statement.   If such a transfer does not meet the requirements for sale accounting, the securitized mortgage loans should continue to be classified as loans in the transferor’s statement of financial position.

This Statement requires that a transferor recognize and initially measure at fair value all assets obtained (including a transferor’s beneficial interest) and liabilities incurred as a result of a transfer of financial assets accounted for as a sale.

Enhanced disclosures are required to provide financial statement users with greater transparency about transfers of financial assets and a transferor’s continuing involvement with transferred financial assets.

How Will This Statement Improve Financial Reporting?

This Statement improves financial reporting by eliminating (1) the exceptions for qualifying special-purpose entities from the consolidation guidance and (2) the exception that permitted sale accounting for certain mortgage securitizations when a transferor has not surrendered control over the transferred financial assets. In addition, comparability and consistency in accounting for transferred financial assets will be improved through clarifications of the requirements for isolation and limitations on portions of financial assets that are eligible for sale accounting.

This Statement enhances the information provided to financial statement users to provide greater transparency about transfers of financial assets and a transferor’s continuing involvement, if any, with transferred financial assets.   Under this Statement, many types of transferred financial assets that would have been derecognized previously are no longer eligible for derecognition.   This Statement requires enhanced disclosures about the risks that a transferor continues to be exposed to because of its continuing involvement in transferred financial assets.  

This Statement also clarifies and improves certain provisions in Statement 140 that have resulted in inconsistencies in the application of the principles on which that Statement is based.  

What Is the Effect of This Statement on Convergence with International Financial Reporting Standards?

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has projects on its agenda to develop new standards on derecognition and consolidation.   The IASB issued two related Exposure Drafts—Consolidated Financial Statements, and Derecognition—in December 2008 and March 2009, respectively.  

This Statement is designed to provide a short-term solution to address inconsistencies in practice in the context of the existing concepts in Statement 140.   In the short term, this project improves convergence by eliminating the concept of a qualifying special-purpose entity, which does not exist in International Financial Reporting Standards, and by limiting the portions of financial assets that are eligible for derecognition.   This project also incorporates certain of the disclosures currently required by IFRS 7, Financial Instruments: Disclosures.   Ultimately, the two Boards will seek to issue a converged derecognition standard.