European banks 'need to reassess pre-recession purchases'

18 November 2011

Banks across Europe could be forced to reconsider the effects of their purchases in the lead up to the global economic downturn in the near future.

That is according to Andrew Spooner, accounting partner at Deloitte, who has told Bloomberg that many financiers are likely to have to write down certain aspects of their records.

"Banks that paid a premium for businesses when the outlook was better will need to reassess the goodwill on their balance sheets," he explained.

The news source indicated lenders have some $270 billion of goodwill from their transactions and may need to release a proportion of this before selling assets, new stock or bolstering their capital.

Mr Spooner went on to say that acquisitions made prior to the downturn that are exposed to peripheral Europe are "most vulnerable to impairments".

This comes after Chris Lucas, finance director of Barclays, said in a letter published in the Financial Times that European and US banking accounting practices should be amended.

By Asim Shah

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