Codification of Staff Accounting Bulletins
Topic 11: Miscellaneous Disclosure
Facts: Company A has received an operating-differential subsidy pursuant to the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as amended.
Question: How should such subsidies be displayed in the income statement?
Interpretive Response: Revenue representing an operating-differential subsidy under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as amended, must be set forth as a separate line item in the income statement either under a revenue caption or as credit in the costs and expenses section.
Facts: Company B excludes depreciation and depletion from cost of sales in its income statement.
Question: How should this exclusion be disclosed?
Interpretive Response: If cost of sales or operating expenses exclude charges for depreciation, depletion and amortization of property, plant and equipment, the description of the line item should read somewhat as follows: “Cost of goods sold (exclusive of items shown separately below)” or “Cost of goods sold (exclusive of depreciation shown separately below).” To avoid placing undue emphasis on “cash flow,” depreciation, depletion and amortization should not be positioned in the income statement in a manner which results in reporting a figure for income before depreciation.
Facts: Company C conducts business in a foreign jurisdiction which attracts industry by granting a “holiday” from income taxes for a specified period.
Question: Does the staff generally request disclosure of this fact?
Interpretive Response: Yes. In such event, a note must (1) disclose the aggregate dollar and per share effects of the tax holiday and (2) briefly describe the factual circumstances including the date on which the special tax status will terminate.
D. Removed by SAB 103
Question: Does the staff have any preference in what order data are presented (e.g., the most current data displayed first, etc.)?
Interpretive Response: The staff has no preference as to order; however, financial statements and other data presented in tabular form should read consistently from left to right in the same chronological order throughout the filing. Similarly, numerical data included in narrative sections should be consistently ordered.
Facts: Registrant on LIFO basis of accounting liquidates a substantial portion of its LIFO inventory and as a result includes a material amount of income in its income statement which would not have been recorded had the inventory liquidation not taken place.
Question: Is disclosure required of the amount of income realized as a result of the inventory liquidation?
Interpretive Response: Yes. Such disclosure would be required in order to make the financial statements not misleading. Disclosure may be made either in a footnote or parenthetically on the face of the income statement.
Facts: Bank subsidiaries of bank holding companies frequently hold substantial amounts of state and municipal bonds, interest income from which is exempt from Federal income taxes. Because of the tax exemption the stated yield on these securities is lower than the yield on securities with similar risk and maturity characteristics whose interest is subject to Federal tax. In order to make the interest income and resultant yields on tax exempt obligations comparable to those on taxable investments and loans, a “tax equivalent adjustment” is often added to interest income when presented in analytical tables or charts. When the data presented also includes income taxes, a corresponding amount is added to income tax expense so that there is no effect on net income. Adjustment may also be made for the tax equivalent effect of exemption from state and local taxes.
Question 1: Is the concept of the tax equivalent adjustment appropriate for inclusion in financial statements and related notes?
Interpretive Response: No. The tax equivalent adjustment represents a credit to interest income which is not actually earned and realized and a corresponding charge to taxes (or other expense) which will never be paid. Consequently, it should not be reflected on the income statement or in notes to financial statements included in reports to shareholders or in a report or registration statement filed with the Commission.
Question 2: May amounts representing tax equivalent adjustments be included in the body of a statement of income provided they are designated as not being included in the totals and balances on the statement?
Interpretive Response: No. The tabular format of a statement develops information in an orderly manner which becomes confusing when additional numbers not an integral part of the statement are inserted into it.
Question 3: May revenues on a tax equivalent adjusted basis be included in selected financial data?
Interpretive Response: Revenues may be included in selected financial data on a tax equivalent basis if the respective captions state which amounts are tax equivalent adjusted and if the corresponding unadjusted amounts are also reported in the selected financial data.
Because of differences among registrants in making the tax equivalency computation, a brief note should describe the extent of recognition of exemption from Federal, state and local taxes and the combined marginal or incremental rate used. Where net operating losses exist, the note should indicate the nature of the tax equivalency adjustment made.
Question 4: May information adjusted to a tax equivalent basis be included in management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations?
Interpretive Response: One of the purposes of MD&A is to enable investors to appraise the extent that earnings have been affected by changes in business activity and accounting principles or methods. Material changes in items of revenue or expense should be analyzed and explained in textual discussion and statistical tables. It may be appropriate to use amounts or to present yields on a tax equivalent basis. If appropriate, the discussion should include a comment on material changes in investment securities positions that affect tax exempt interest income. For example, there might be a comment on a change from investments in tax exempt securities because of the availability of net operating losses to offset taxable income of current and future periods, or a comment on a change in the quality level of the tax exempt investments resulting in increased interest income and risk and a corresponding increase in the tax equivalent adjustment.
Tax equivalent adjusted amounts should be clearly identified and related to the corresponding unadjusted amounts in the financial statements. A descriptive note similar to that suggested to accompany adjusted amounts included in selected financial data should be provided.
Facts: Certain foreign countries experiencing liquidity problems, by agreement with U.S. banks, have instituted arrangements whereby borrowers in the foreign country may remit local currency to the foreign country’s central bank, in return for the central bank’s assumption of the borrowers’ non-local currency obligations to the U.S. banks. The local currency is held on deposit at the central bank, for the account of the U.S. banks, and may be subject to relending to other borrowers in the country. Ultimate repayment of the obligations to the U.S. banks, in the requisite non-local currency, may not be due until a number of years hence.
Question: What disclosures are appropriate regarding deposit/relending arrangements of this general type?
Interpretive Response: The staff emphasizes that it is the responsibility of each registrant to determine the appropriate financial statement treatment and classification of foreign outstandings. The facts and circumstances surrounding deposit/relending arrangements should be carefully analyzed to determine whether the local currency payments to the foreign central bank represent collections of outstandings for financial reporting purposes, and whether such outstandings should be classified as nonaccrual, past due or restructured loans pursuant to Item III.C.1. of Industry Guide 3, Statistical Disclosure by Bank Holding Companies (“Guide 3”).
The staff believes, however, that the impact of deposit/relending arrangements covering significant amounts of outstandings to a foreign country should be disclosed pursuant to Guide 3, Item III.C.3., Instruction (6)(a).1 The disclosures should include a general description of the arrangements and, if significant, the amounts of interest income recognized for financial reporting purposes which has not been remitted in the requisite non-local currency to the U.S. bank.
Facts: Inquiries have been made of the staff regarding certain accounting and disclosure issues raised by a proposed “Mexican Debt Exchange” transaction which could involve numerous bank holding companies with existing obligations of the United Mexican States (“Mexico”) or other Mexican public sector entities (collectively, “Existing Obligations”). The key elements of the Mexican Debt Exchange are as follows:
Mexico will offer for sale bonds (“Bonds”), denominated in U.S. dollars, which will pay interest at a LIBOR-based floating rate and mature in twenty years. Mexico will undertake to list the Bonds on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. The Bonds will be secured, as to their ultimate principal value only, by non-interest bearing securities of the U.S. Treasury (“Zero Coupon Treasury Securities”) which will be purchased by Mexico. The Zero Coupon Treasury Securities will be pledged to holders of the Bonds and held in custody at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and will have a maturity date and ultimate principal value which match the maturity date and principal value of the Bonds. While the Bonds will have default and acceleration provisions, the holder of a Bond will not be permitted to have access to the collateral prior to the final scheduled maturity date, at which time the proceeds of the collateral will be available to pay the full principal amount of the Bonds. As such, the holder of a Bond ultimately will be secured as to principal at maturity; however, the interest payments will not be secured. The Bonds will not be subject to future restructurings of Mexico’s Existing Obligations, and Mexico has indicated that neither the Bonds nor the Existing Obligations exchanged therefore will be considered part of a base amount with respect to any future requests by Mexico for new money.
The Mexican Debt Exchange will be structured in such a way that potential purchasers of the Bonds will submit bids on a voluntary basis to the auction agent. These bids will specify the face dollar amount of existing restructured commercial bank obligations of Mexico or of other Mexican public sector entities that the potential purchaser is willing to tender and the face dollar amount of Bonds that the purchaser is willing to accept in exchange for the Existing Obligations. Following the auction date, Mexico will determine the face dollar amount of Bonds to be issued and will exchange the Bonds for Existing Obligations taking first the offer of the largest face dollar amount of Existing Obligations per face dollar amount of Bonds, and so on, until all Bonds which Mexico is willing to issue have been subscribed. It is therefore possible that a greater amount of Existing Obligations could be tendered than Mexico is willing to accept.
The lender has appropriately accounted for the transaction as a troubled debt restructuring in accordance with the provisions of FASB ASC Subtopic 310-40, Receivables — Troubled Debt Restructurings by Creditors.
Question 1: What financial statement and other disclosure issues regarding the Mexican Debt Exchange and the Bonds received should be considered by registrants?
Interpretive Response: The staff believes that disclosure of the nature of the transaction would be necessary, including:
On an ongoing basis, the staff believes that the terms, carrying value and market value of the Bonds should be disclosed, if material, due to their unique features.2
Question 2: What disclosure with respect to the Bonds received would be acceptable under Industry Guide 3?
Interpretive Response: Instruction (4) to Item III.C.3. of Industry Guide 3 states: “The value of any tangible, liquid collateral may also be netted against cross-border outstandings of a country if it is held and realizable by the lender outside of the borrower’s country.” Given the unique features of the Bonds in that the ultimate repayment of the principal amount (but not interest) at maturity is assured, the staff will not object to either of two presentations. Under the first presentation, the carrying value of the Bonds, including any accrued but unpaid interest, would be included as a “cross-border outstanding” to the extent it exceeds the current fair value of the Zero Coupon Treasury Securities which collateralize the bonds. Alternatively, under the second presentation, the carrying value of the Bond principal would be excluded from Mexican cross-border outstandings provided (a) disclosure is made of the exclusion, (b) for purposes of determining the 1% and .75% of total assets disclosure thresholds of Item III.C.3. of Industry Guide 3, such carrying values are not excluded, and (c) all the Guide 3 disclosures relating to cross-border outstandings continue to be made, as discussed further below.
For registrants that adopt the alternative disclosure approach and whose Mexican cross-border outstandings (excluding the carrying value of the Bond principal) exceed 1% of total assets, appropriate footnote disclosure of the exclusions should be made. Such footnote should indicate the face amount and carrying value of the Bonds excluded, the market value of such Bonds, and the face amount and current fair value of the Zero Coupon Treasury Securities which secure the Bonds.
If the Mexican cross-border outstandings (excluding the carrying value of the Bond principal) are less than 1% of total assets but with the addition of the carrying value of the Bond principal would exceed 1%, the carrying value of the Mexican cross-border outstandings may be excluded from the list of countries whose cross-border outstandings exceed 1% of total assets provided that a footnote discloses the amount of Mexican cross-border outstandings (excluding the carrying value of the Bond principal) along with the footnote-type disclosure concerning the Bonds discussed in the previous paragraph. This disclosure and any other material disclosure specified by Item III.C.3. of Industry Guide 3 would continue to be made as long as Mexican exposure, including the carrying value of the Bond principal, exceeded 1%.
If the Mexican cross-border outstandings (excluding the carrying value of the Bond principal) are less than .75% of total assets but with the addition of the carrying value of the Mexican Bond principal would exceed .75% but be less than 1%, cross-border outstandings disclosed pursuant to Instruction (7) to Item III.C.3. of Industry Guide 3 may exclude Mexico provided a footnote is added to the aggregate disclosure which discloses the amount of Mexican cross-border outstandings and the fact that they have not been included. The carrying value of the Bond principal may be excluded from the amount of Mexican cross-border outstandings disclosed in the footnote provided the footnote-type disclosure discussed in the second preceding paragraph is also made.
In essence, the alternative discussed herein results in a change only in the method of presenting information, not in the total information required.3
The appropriate disclosure would depend on the level of Mexican cross-border outstandings as follows:
A. Assuming that the remaining Mexican cross-border outstandings are in excess of 1% of total assets:
B. Assuming that remaining Mexican cross-border outstandings are less than 1% of total assets but with the addition of the carrying value of the Mexican Bond principal would exceed 1%:
C. Assuming that the remaining Mexican cross-border outstandings is less than .75% of total assets but with the addition of the carrying value of the Mexican Bond principal is greater than .75% but less than 1%:
D. Assuming that the total of the Mexican cross-border outstanding plus the carrying value of the Bond principal is less than the .75% of total assets:
Changes in aggregate outstandings to certain countries experiencing liquidity problems are required to be presented in tabular form in compliance with Instruction (6)(b) to Item III.C.3. In this table, Existing Obligations exchanged for the Bonds would generally be included in the aggregate cross-border outstandings at the beginning of the period during which the exchange occurred. For registrants using the alternative method, the amount of Existing Obligations which were exchanged would be included as a deduction in the “other changes” caption in the table. In addition, a footnote will be provided to the table as follows:
Relates primarily to the exchange of unsecured Mexican outstandings for Mexican bonds. The principal amount of these bonds is secured at maturity by $___ face U.S. Zero Coupon Treasury Securities which mature on the same date and have a current fair value of $___. Future interest on the bonds remains a cross-border risk.]
Facts: The Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation jointly issued final rules, pursuant to the International Lending Supervision Act of 1983, requiring banking institutions to establish special reserves (Allocated Transfer Risk Reserve “ATRR”) against the risks presented in certain international assets when the Federal banking agencies determine that such reserves are necessary. The rules provide that the ATRR is to be accounted for separately from the General Allowances for Possible Loan Losses, and shall not be included in the banking institution’s capital or surplus. The rules also provide that no ATRR provisions are required if the banking institution writes down the assets in the requisite amount.
Question: How should the ATRR be reported in filings under the Federal Securities Laws?
Interpretive Response: It is the staff’s understanding that the three banking agencies believe that those bank holding companies that have not written down the designated assets by the requisite amount and, therefore, are required to establish an ATRR should disclose the amount of the ATRR. The staff believes that such disclosure should be part of the discussion of Loan Loss Experience, Item IV of Guide 3. Part A under Item IV calls for an analysis of loss experience in the form of a reconciliation of the allowance for loan losses, and the staff believes that it would be appropriate to show and discuss separately the ATRR in the context of that reconciliation.
Registrants should recognize that the amount provided as an ATRR, or the write off of the requisite amount, represents the identification of an amount which those regulatory agencies have determined should not be included as a part of the institution’s capital or surplus for purposes of administration of the regulatory and supervisory functions of those agencies. In this context, the staff believes that disclosure of the ATRR, as part of the footnote required to be presented in a registrant’s financial statements by Item 7(d) of Rule 9-03 of Regulation S-X, may provide a more complete explanation of charge offs and provisions for loan losses. It should be noted, however, that the ATRR amount to be excluded from the institution’s capital and surplus does not address the more general issue of the adequacy of allowances for any particular bank holding company’s loans. It is still the responsibility of each registrant to determine whether GAAP require an additional provision for losses in excess of the amount required to be included in an ATRR (or the requisite amount written off).
J. Removed by SAB 103
Facts: Article 9 of Regulation S-X specifies the form and content of and requirements for financial statements for bank holding companies filing with the Commission. Similarly, bank holding companies disclose supplemental statistical disclosures in filings, pursuant to Industry Guide 3. No specific guidance as to the form and content of financial statements or supplemental disclosures has been promulgated for registrants which are not bank holding companies but which are engaged in similar lending and deposit activities.4
Question: Should non-bank holding company registrants with material amounts of lending and deposit activities file financial statements and make disclosures called for by Article 9 of Regulation S-X and Industry Guide 3?
Interpretive Response: In the staff’s view, Article 9 and Guide 3, while applying literally only to bank holding companies, provide useful guidance to certain other registrants, including savings and loan holding companies, on certain disclosures relevant to an understanding of the registrant’s operations. Thus, to the extent particular guidance is relevant and material to the operations of an entity, the staff believes the specified information, or comparable data, should be provided.
For example, in accordance with Guide 3, bank holding companies disclose information about yields and costs of various assets and liabilities. Further, bank holding companies provide certain information about maturities and repricing characteristics of various assets and liabilities. Such companies also disclose risk elements, such as nonaccrual and past due items in the lending portfolio. The staff believes that this information and other relevant data would be material to a description of business of other registrants with material lending and deposit activities and accordingly, the specified information and/or comparable data (such as scheduled item disclosure for risk elements) should be provided.
In contrast, other requirements of Article 9 and Guide 3 may not be material or relevant to an understanding of the financial statements of some financial institutions. For example, bank holding companies present average balance sheet information, because period-end statements might not be representative of bank activity throughout the year. Some financial institutions other than bank holding companies may determine that average balance sheet disclosure does not provide significant additional information. Others may determine that assets and liabilities are subject to sufficient volatility that average balance information should be presented.
Pursuant to Article 9, the income statements of bank holding companies use a “net interest income” presentation. Similarly, bank holding companies present the aggregate market value, at the balance sheet date, of investment securities, on the face of the balance sheet. The staff believes that such disclosures and other relevant information should also be provided by other registrants with material lending and deposit activities.
Facts: Registrants having casino-hotel operations present separately within the income statement amounts of revenue attributable to casino, hotel and restaurant operations, respectively.
Question: What is the appropriate income statement presentation of expenses attributable to casino-hotel activities?
Interpretive Response: The staff believes that the expenses attributable to each of the separate revenue producing activities of casino, hotel and restaurant operations should be separately presented on the face of the income statement. Such a presentation is consistent with the general reporting format for income statement presentation under Regulation S-X (Rules 5-03.1 and 5-03.2) which requires presentation of amounts of revenues and related costs and expenses applicable to major revenue providing activities. This detailed presentation affords an analysis of the relative contribution to operating profits of each of the revenue producing activities of a typical casino-hotel operation.
M. Disclosure Of The Impact That Recently Issued Accounting Standards Will Have On The Financial Statements Of The Registrant When Adopted In A Future Period
Facts: An accounting standard has been issued5 that does not require adoption until some future date. A registrant is required to include financial statements in filings with the Commission after the issuance of the standard but before it is adopted by the registrant.
Question 1: Does the staff believe that these filings should include disclosure of the impact that the recently issued accounting standard will have on the financial position and results of operations of the registrant when such standard is adopted in a future period?
Interpretive Response: Yes. The Commission addressed a similar issue and concluded that registrants should discuss the potential effects of adoption of recently issued accounting standards in registration statements and reports filed with the Commission.6 The staff believes that this disclosure guidance applies to all accounting standards which have been issued but not yet adopted by the registrant unless the impact on its financial position and results of operations is not expected to be material.7 MD&A8 requires registrants to provide information with respect to liquidity, capital resources and results of operations and such other information that the registrant believes to be necessary to understand its financial condition and results of operations. In addition, MD&A requires disclosure of presently known material changes, trends and uncertainties that have had or that the registrant reasonably expects will have a material impact on future sales, revenues or income from continuing operations. The staff believes that disclosure of impending accounting changes is necessary to inform the reader about expected impacts on financial information to be reported in the future and, therefore, should be disclosed in accordance with the existing MD&A requirements. With respect to financial statement disclosure, GAAS9 specifically address the need for the auditor to consider the adequacy of the disclosure of impending changes in accounting principles if (a) the financial statements have been prepared on the basis of accounting principles that were acceptable at the financial statement date but that will not be acceptable in the future and (b) the financial statements will be retrospectively adjusted in the future as a result of the change. The staff believes that recently issued accounting standards may constitute material matters and, therefore, disclosure in the financial statements should also be considered in situations where the change to the new accounting standard will be accounted for in financial statements of future periods, prospectively or with a cumulative catch-up adjustment.
Question 2: Does the staff have a view on the types of disclosure that would be meaningful and appropriate when a new accounting standard has been issued but not yet adopted by the registrant?
Interpretive Response: The staff believes that the registrant should evaluate each new accounting standard to determine the appropriate disclosure and recognizes that the level of information available to the registrant will differ with respect to various standards and from one registrant to another. The objectives of the disclosure should be to (1) notify the reader of the disclosure documents that a standard has been issued which the registrant will be required to adopt in the future and (2) assist the reader in assessing the significance of the impact that the standard will have on the financial statements of the registrant when adopted. The staff understands that the registrant will only be able to disclose information that is known.
The following disclosures should generally be considered by the registrant:
Facts: An entity receives financial assistance from a federal regulatory agency in conjunction with either an acquisition of a troubled financial institution, transfer of nonperforming assets to a newly-formed entity, or other reorganization.
Question: What are the disclosure implications of the existence of regulatory assistance?
Interpretive Response: The staff believes that users of financial statements must be able to assess the impact of credit and other risks on a company following a regulatory assisted acquisition, transfer or other reorganization on a basis comparable to that disclosed by other institutions, i.e., as if the assistance did not exist. In this regard, the staff believes that the amount of regulatory assistance should be disclosed separately and should be separately identified in the statistical information furnished pursuant to Industry Guide 3, to the extent it impacts such information.10, 11 Further, the nature, extent and impact of such assistance needs to be fully discussed in Management’s Discussion and Analysis.12
1 Instruction (6)(a) calls for description of the nature and impact of developments in countries experiencing liquidity problems which are expected to have a material impact on timely repayment of principal or interest. Additionally, Instruction (6)(d)(ii) to Item III.C.3. calls for disclosure of commitments to relend, or to maintain on deposit, arising in connection with certain restructurings of foreign outstanding.
2 Registrants also are reminded that if the security received in the exchange constitutes a debt security within the scope of FASB ASC Topic 320, Investments — Debt and Equity Securities, the disclosures required by FASB ASC Topic 320 also would need to be provided.
3 The following represents proposed disclosure using the alternative method discussed above. Of course, it would be necessary to supplement this disclosure with the additional disclosures regarding foreign outstandings that are called for by Guide 3 (e.g., an analysis of the changes in aggregate outstandings), and the disclosures called for by the Interpretive Responses to Question 1.
4 The Commission staff has been considering the need for more specific guidance in the area but believes that the FASB project on financial instruments may make Commission action in this area unnecessary. In the interim, this bulletin provides the staff’s views with respect to filings by similar entities such as saving and loan holding companies.
5 Some registrants may want to disclose the potential effects of proposed accounting standards not yet issued, (e.g., exposure drafts). Such disclosures, which generally are not required because the final standard may differ from the exposure draft, are not addressed by this SAB. See also FRR 26.
6 FRR 6, Section 2.
7 In those instances where a recently issued standard will impact the preparation of, but not materially affect, the financial statements, the registrant is encouraged to disclose that a standard has been issued and that its adoption will not have a material effect on its financial position or results of operations.
8 Item 303 of Regulation S-K.
9 See AU 9410.13-18.
10 The staff has previously expressed its views regarding acceptable methods of compliance with this principle in FASB ASC paragraph 942-10-S99-6 (Financial Services — Depository and Lending Topic).
11 See FASB ASC paragraph 942-10-S99-6 for guidance on the appropriate period in which to record certain types of regulatory assistance.
12 See Section 501.06.c. of the Financial Reporting Codification for further discussion of the MD&A disclosures of the effects of regulatory assistance.