Accountants, bond analysts and company financial executives say the Financial Accounting Standards Board should shelve a proposal that could require insurers to split, or “bifurcate,” reporting of insurance policy insurance risk transfer and investment risk.
Opposition to the bifurcation proposal surfaced in response to FASB’s latest annual Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council priorities survey.
The council, an arm of FASB, Norwalk, Conn., based the survey report on responses from 31 current council members, 7 FASB board members and 35 other constituents.
Most of the report has to do with general financial reporting issues, but a number of respondents discussed concerns about the bifurcation proposal.
FASB came up with the proposal while looking into the issue of finite reinsurance reporting.
FASB suggested in May, in an “invitation to comment” on insurance accounting rules, that insurers probably should split reporting of risk transfer components from investment components for many types of insurance products, including ordinary group life policies.
One survey respondent, E. Anson Thrower, managing director of the S-Curve Group L.L.C., Greenville, S.C., says FASB ought to shelve the bifurcation proposal for now because it has been so controversial.
But, “the approach is conceptually correct,” Thrower says.
Other survey respondents have given the bifurcation proposal harsher reviews.