Policy Issues

Business Coalition Urges Implementation Delay for FASB’s ‘Current Expected Credit Loss Accounting Standard’ (CECL), Pending Impact Analysis

March 5, 2019

View letter

A business coalition that includes The Real Estate Roundtable on March 5 wrote to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to urge a delay in the implementation of the proposed Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) accounting standard, which may begin to reduce aggregate bank lending as early as next year. 

The new CECL model will change the way banks calculate reserves on assets, requiring certain financial institutions to estimate the expected loss over the life of a loan beginning in January 2020.  For real estate, there is concern is that banks may reduce lending volumes as they build up additional capital reserves to be in compliance with CECL. 

The accounting rule change was issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in June 2016 as a result of the 2008 financial crisis.

The regulatory change in how banks estimate losses in their allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL) will require substantial changes in data analytics and financial methodologies.  The March 5 coalition letter cites a 2018 KPMB survey showing companies are struggling to make certain accounting, modeling and data decisions to be in compliance with CECL.  (KPMG, Financial institutions feeling the crunch in countdown to CECL implementation.)

To avoid unintended economic consequences, the coalition states in its letter, “We believe it is important to delay implementation of CECL in order to allow for time to conduct a quantitative impact analysis and to consider potential alternatives, while allowing for post-issuance field testing. Time for further assessment will also allow regulators to better understand and address the key consequences of any proposal for capital and other regulatory purposes.”