Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Good, Quiet Work Getting Done Behind the Scenes

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Good, Quiet Work Getting Done Behind the Scenes

Article excerpt

ABA'S WORK ON ACCOUNTING, securities, insurance, regulatory, and related issues is just as important--though often not as visible--as the work the association does on the big legislative issues in Congress. Yet these behind-the-scenes activities are extremely important to helping bankers keep a growing regulatory burden in check.

ABA's Donna Fisher and her accounting team, for example, have developed close professional relationships with the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Earlier this year they won an important victory on an issue that would have done great damage to banks' bottom lines. The FASB agreed to preserve the accounting status quo for certain debt securities by dropping a proposal to change how and when companies take losses on securities that are other than temporarily impaired. Donna and her team had argued that the proposal would have impaired the ability of financial institutions to appropriately manage risk.

In their efforts, Donna and her staff count on the input of bankers through groups such as the ABA Accounting Committee and the association's Fair Value Working Group. Donna's group also distributes free to ABA members the "ABA Accounting Briefs" e-mail bulletin, which provides periodic updates on accounting issues for bankers, as well as the "ABA Tax Briefs." Both can be found on ABA's website at www.aba.com under E-mail Bulletins.

Other behind-the-scenes work has been done with the help of Sally Miller's team. Sally is director of the ABA Center for Securities, Trust and Investment. Along with the association's accounting team, Sally's group has been a key player in our advocacy efforts with the SEC. …

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