FASB Improves and Expands Hedge Accounting

 – March 28, 2022
FASB Improves and Expands Hedge Accounting

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) today issued an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) intended to better align hedge accounting with an organization’s risk management strategies.

“The expanded hedge accounting method better reflects the effects of risk management activities in the financial statements and ultimately provides investors and other allocators of capital with more transparent, decision-useful information around an entity’s use of derivatives,” stated FASB Chair Richard R. Jones.

In 2017, the FASB issued a new hedging standard to better align the economic results of risk management activities with hedge accounting. That standard increased transparency around how the results of hedging activities are presented, both on the face of the financial statements and in the footnotes, for investors and analysts when hedge accounting is applied.

One of the major provisions of that standard was the addition of the last-of-layer hedging method. For a closed portfolio of fixed-rate prepayable financial assets or one or more beneficial interests secured by a portfolio of prepayable financial instruments, such as mortgages or mortgage-backed securities, the last-of-layer method allows an entity to hedge its exposure to fair value changes due to changes in interest rates for a portion of the portfolio that is not expected to be affected by prepayments, defaults, and other events affecting the timing and amount of cash flows.

Since issuing that standard, stakeholders have told the FASB that the ability to elect hedge accounting for a single layer is useful, but hedge accounting could better reflect risk management activities if expanded to allow multiple layers of a single closed portfolio to be hedged under the method.

The ASU expands the current single-layer method to allow multiple hedged layers of a single closed portfolio under the method. To reflect that expansion, the last-of-layer method is renamed the portfolio layer method.

Additionally, the ASU:

  • Expands the scope of the portfolio layer method to include nonprepayable assets
  • Specifies eligible hedging instruments in a single-layer hedge
  • Provides additional guidance on the accounting for and disclosure of hedge basis adjustments under the portfolio layer method
  • Specifies how hedge basis adjustments should be considered when determining credit losses for the assets included in the closed portfolio.

The ASU applies to all entities that elect to apply the portfolio layer method of hedge accounting. For public business entities, the ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2022, and interim periods within those fiscal years. For all other entities, the ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2023, and interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted.