Liabilities at fair value through profit or loss: accounting mismatch in profit or loss

A mortgage bank provides loans to customers and funds those loans by selling bonds with matching characteristics (e.g. amount outstanding, repayment profile, term and currency) in the market. The contractual terms of the loan permit the mortgage customer to prepay its loan (i.e. satisfy its obligation to the bank) by buying the corresponding bond at fair value in the market and delivering that bond to the mortgage bank.

As a result of that contractual prepayment right, if the credit quality of the bond worsens (and, thus, the fair value of the mortgage bank’s liability decreases), the fair value of the mortgage bank’s loan asset also decreases. The change in the fair value of the asset reflects the mortgage customer’s contractual right to prepay the mortgage loan by buying the underlying bond at fair value (which, in this example, has decreased) and delivering the bond to the mortgage bank. Therefore, the effects of changes in the credit risk of the liability (the bond) will be offset in profit or loss by a corresponding change in the fair value of a financial asset (the loan).

If the effects of changes in the liability’s credit risk were presented in other comprehensive income there would be an accounting mismatch in profit or loss. Therefore, the mortgage bank is required to present all changes in fair value of the liability (including the effects of changes in the liability’s credit risk) in profit or loss.

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