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البنــك المركــــزي العمـــاني Central Bank of Oman
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Annual Meeting with External Auditors - 2017 8:00:00 PMAnnual Meeting with External Auditors - 2017<p>​It is with great pleasure I welcome you all to this Annual Meeting with External Auditors of Banks and FLCs. For me, this edition is special since it is my first Auditors' Meeting after assuming my new responsibilities at the Central Bank. I have been eagerly looking forward to hearing from you all. </p><p>This year, we have made some changes in the format of the meeting to make the deliberations theme based, and more interactive and focused. IFRS 9 would be the theme for today's meeting in view of its impending implementation. We also intend to provide you an insight into the rationale behind various policy decisions made in the recent past to enable you to discharge the audit responsibilities effectively. </p><p>There are two interlinked issues such as implementation of IFRS 9 and proper risk classification of loans and compliance with the Central Bank regulations, that we would like to focus on today. We are now in the final laps in the run up to the mandatory implementation of IFRS 9. I am sure all of you must be very busy in preparing yourself for the challenges ahead for its implementation. We do hope that the auditors would play a proactive role in ensuring that the banking system is well prepared for a consistent and proper implementation of the standard. I would therefore request the audit firms to deploy their experienced and best talent for the job at hand. They should also ensure proper risk classification of loans, provisioning for bad assets and compliance with regulatory requirements and disclosure standards. </p><p>In this connection also, integrity of financial reporting is critical to the growth of business. The audit firms must implement robust quality controls and internal review procedures so as to ensure integrity of financial reporting and avoid similar lapses in all respects. </p><p>IFRS 9 enlarges the scope for management discretion and subjectivity. This brings in a host of issues such as the possibility of profit smoothening and under-provisioning. Indeed, even in the absence of management discretion, there is always the possibility of model failure. Therefore, in consultation with audit firms, we have retained our two track approach to impairment provisioning. In order to harmonise the regulatory framework with accounting standards, it is advised that the adjustment for the shortfall in <strong>IFRS 9 provisions </strong>as compared to <strong>CBO requirements </strong>be made below the line. Therefore, the auditors have got an onerous job to ensure that the provisions under IFRS 9 are adequate and made for both expected and incurred losses, in keeping with the spirit of the standard. </p><p>As you are aware, the Central Bank has advised banks to submit IFRS 9 based proforma financial statements in parallel and subject their proforma financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2017 to a limited review by the auditors. There are two primary drivers to this decision. Firstly, it would facilitate better preparedness for the impending implementation. More importantly, it would allow the Central Bank to assess the extent of impact of IFRS 9 on regulatory capital. This would allow us to take a decision on any transitional relief on capital adequacy and also the approach for the dividend payouts for the year 2017. </p><p>It is imperative, therefore, that this exercise be completed in a timely manner, and the Central Bank receives the audited financial statements of banks/ FLCs and also the IFRS 9 based proforma financial statements for the year ending December 2017 in one lot within the specified time. </p><p> </p>