Accounting standards “too important to leave to accountants”

AXA boss Henri de Castries has said Europe should not have handed over control of accounting rules to the London-based International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the FT reports.

He said the IASB was "accountable to no one", and that setting accounting standards was "an instrument of political sovereignty" and "far too important to leave to accountants".

AXA is unhappy that the IASB says assets must be recorded at current “fair” value. When the markets fell the “fair” value of company’s assets fell forcing them to bolster their reserves.

De Castries' comments also reflect a dissatisfaction among some Europeans with the IASB's international, not European, focus, the FT said.