The Financial Accounting Standards Board gave final approval Wednesday to its controversial Current Expected Credit Loss standard, but agreed to delay its implementation deadlines by a year in response to protests from banks and credit unions.
As a result of Wednesday's action, companies that file with the Securities and Exchange Commission won't be required to implement CECL until 2020. Implementation for public companies that are not SEC filers begins a year later, in 2021. Private and nonprofit companies will be required to apply CECL to their annual reports in 2021 and to quarterly filings beginning in 2022.
The accounting standards board says it has received more than 3,300 CECL-related comment letters and held nearly 120 meetings on the standard. Even so, it plans to continue to engage in what the organization terms extensive post-issuance activity over the next three and a half years, its chairman, Russell Golden, said in a statement Wednesday.
The Transition Resource Group FASB created earlier this year to smooth implementation of the new standard will continue to meet, Golden added.
Board members are also reviewing a "ballot draft" to ensure the text of the standard reflects the numerous amendments made since it was first introduced in 2010. The final, official version is expected to be released sometime in June, FASB spokesman John Pappas said Wednesday.
CECL will radically change the way banks and credit unions calculate provisions for loan losses. The current standard permits additions to reserves only after the occurrence of adverse event makes default likely. Under CECL, lenders will be required to estimate the lifetime losses of a loan at the time it is booked.
Banks and credit unions have bemoaned the difficulties inherent in forecasting credit losses. They have also voiced concerns that frontloading allowances will lead to hefty increases in provisioning requirements.