In the non-binding Political Declaration that accompanied the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK and the EU committed, in relation to their respective financial services regulatory frameworks, to “start assessing equivalence with respect to each other under these frameworks as soon as possible after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the Union, endeavouring to conclude these assessments before the end of June 2020.”
The end of June deadline has now come and gone, but questions over equivalence remain. What equivalence assessments are possible in relation to the capital markets? And what are the implications for market participants if they are not in place once the Implementation Period expires?
We have written a briefing that looks at accounting standards equivalence for the purposes of both periodic financial reporting and the inclusion of historical financial information in a prospectus. We explain:
- when issuers are currently required to prepare consolidated financial information according to EU-endorsed IFRS;
- which other accounting standards are recognised by the European Commission as equivalent to EU-endorsed IFRS, and what an issuer must do if the accounting standards it uses are not recognised as equivalent;
- that the UK has already confirmed that it will recognise EU-endorsed IFRS, and certain national GAAPs, as equivalent to UK-IFRS;
- that even if the EU does not recognise UK-IFRS as equivalent to EU-endorsed IFRS, this will not cause significant problems for most issuers, whether they are publishing periodic financial information or including historical financial information in a prospectus.
The briefing also looks at prospectus regime equivalence for non-exempt public offers and admissions of securities.