Survey of disclosures about trading and derivatives activities of banks and securities firms 1996

This version

BCBS  | 
Sound practices
06 November 1997
Status:  Superseded
Topics: Disclosure

Executive summary

This survey of disclosures about trading and derivatives activities presented in the annual reports of 79 large banks and securities firms located in the G-10 countries and one large securities firm located in Hong Kong, reveals that while trading and derivatives disclosures of many banks and securities firms have improved in recent years, there are still some institutions that disclose little or nothing about key aspects of their trading and derivatives activities.

Overall, the amount, detail and clarity of trading and derivatives-related disclosures in annual reports of banks and securities firms improved substantially over the 1993-1996 period; however, progress in disclosure practices was less pronounced in 1996 than in previous years. The most noteworthy improvements in 1996 annual reports were expanded discussions of operating and legal risks; more information about the valuation techniques for trading and derivatives activities; the accounting treatment for derivatives credit losses; and the increased amount of quantitative market risk disclosures. The Basle Committee and the IOSCO Technical Committee strongly encourage banks and securities firms to continue their efforts to develop more meaningful disclosures for their trading and derivatives activities.

Despite these improvements, there remain disparities, both within and across countries, as regards the type and usefulness of the information disclosed. Those institutions that continue to disclose little about their trading and derivatives activities are strongly encouraged to consider the quantitative and qualitative disclosures recommended by the two Committees. They should also consider disclosure initiatives by other national and international bodies, and the types of disclosures provided by their peers at the international level.