Distressing accounting reports at home and abroad

Industry news roundup: week ended 19 Dec 2013:

Sometimes there’s simply no good news to report, and this is exactly what’s going on this week as reports roll in at home and abroad predicting stormy weather.

First up is a story detailing how the Financial Reporting Council, the accounting watchdog for the UK, has some serious concerns about British banks that haven’t learnt the lessons of the financial crisis. The Council is so concerned that it has decided to begin a bookkeeping review of many high street lenders starting in 2014’s second quarter.

Taxpayers are still smarting from the number of banks that ended up having to be bailed out from 2007 as the worldwide markets crashed and burned. Many ministers have begun to question why auditors signed off on so many of these banks positively right before the crisis, and the Council is making sure that there won’t be any repeat performances any time soon.

This is an important step in making sure that none of the shenanigans that caused the credit crunch back in 2007 end up happening again, but if you ask me this is a move that indicates how little faith the Financial Reporting Council actually has in British banks. It’s not unwarranted but it’s still just depressing that these banker bastards could still be playing dice with worldwide economic prosperity. It’s enough to make you want to hit something!

Speaking of bad news, here’s some more: next September, the UK will likely owe £30 billion more than it does now in public debt, simply because the EU is changing how it handles its public accounts. Companies that are currently classified as private are poised to be re-assigned as being in the public sector under the new rules, and the state-owned Network Rail is unfortunately going to be transitioned over in the process.

It gets worse though – apparently the Royal Mail’s pension assets and liabilities dating back to before it was privatised will most likely add an additional £9 billion in debt on top of that somewhere down the line as well! Oh and all of this debt will be backdated to the 2012/2013 financial year, just in case you wanted to hear how we’ve gotten insult added no to injury. I swear sometimes I think the EU is much more trouble than it was worth – and I know I’m not alone in thinking this!


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