FASB Hedging-General Assessing Hedge Effectiveness of Fair Value and Cash Flow Hedges Period-by-Period or Cumulatively under a Dollar-Offset Approach

FASB: Hedging-General: Assessing Hedge Effectiveness of Fair Value and Cash Flow Hedges Period-by-Period or Cumulatively under a Dollar-Offset Approach

Derivatives Implementation Group

Statement 133 Implementation Issue No. E8

Title: Hedging—General: Assessing Hedge Effectiveness of Fair Value and Cash Flow Hedges Period-by-Period or Cumulatively under a Dollar-Offset Approach
Paragraph references: 20(b), 28(b), 30, 62, 64, 67
Date cleared by Board: June 28, 2000

QUESTION

In periodically assessing retrospectively the effectiveness of a fair value hedge (or a cash flow hedge) in having achieved offsetting changes in fair values (or cash flows), an entity compares the change in the hedging instrument's fair value (or cash flows) to the change in the hedged item's fair value (or hedged transaction's cash flows) attributable to the hedged risk. If an entity elects at inception of a hedging relationship to utilize the dollar-offset approach for retrospective evaluations of assessing effectiveness, then should that entity base that comparison on (a) the fair value (or cash flow) changes that have occurred during the period being assessed (that is, on a period-by-period basis) or (b) the cumulative fair value (or cash flow) changes to date from the inception of the hedge? Is that entity permitted to use either a period-by-period approach or a cumulative approach on individual fair value hedges (or cash flow hedges) under a dollar-offset approach?

BACKGROUND

Paragraph 20(b) of Statement 133 states, in part:

     Both at inception of the [fair value] hedge and on an ongoing basis, the hedging relationship is expected to be highly effective in achieving offsetting changes in fair value attributable to the hedged risk during the period that the hedge is designated. An assessment of effectiveness is required whenever financial statements or earnings are reported, and at least every three months....All assessments of effectiveness shall be consistent with the risk management strategy documented for that particular hedging relationship.

Paragraph 28(b) states, in part:

     Both at inception of the [cash flow] hedge and on an ongoing basis, the hedging relationship is expected to be highly effective in achieving offsetting cash flows attributable to the hedged risk during the term of the hedge, except as indicated in paragraph 28(d) below. An assessment of effectiveness is required whenever financial statements or earnings are reported, and at least every three months....All assessments of effectiveness shall be consistent with the originally documented risk management strategy for that particular hedging relationship.

Paragraph 30(b) states that "the effective portion of the gain or loss on a derivative designated as a cash flow hedge is reported in other comprehensive income." Paragraph 30(b) specifies how the effective portion to be reported in other comprehensive income should be calculated. The calculation of the effective portion is, in part, based on "cumulative gain or loss on the derivative from inception of the hedge."

Paragraph 67 of the Statement states, in part:

   If the hedge initially qualifies for hedge accounting, the entity would continue to assess whether the hedge meets the effectiveness test and also would measure any ineffectiveness during the hedge period. If the hedge fails the effectiveness test at any time (that is, if the entity does not expect the hedge to be highly effective at achieving offsetting changes in fair values or cash flows), the hedge ceases to qualify for hedge accounting.

RESPONSE

In periodically (that is, at least quarterly) assessing retrospectively the effectiveness of a fair value hedge (or a cash flow hedge) in having achieved offsetting changes in fair values (or cash flows) under a dollar-offset approach, Statement 133 permits an entity to use either a period-by-period approach or a cumulative approach on individual fair value hedges (or cash flow hedges). The period-by-period approach involves comparing the changes in the hedging instrument's fair values (or cash flows) that have occurred during the period being assessed to the changes in the hedged item's fair value (or hedged transaction's cash flows) attributable to the risk hedged that have occurred during the same period. The cumulative approach involves comparing the cumulative changes (to date from inception of the hedge) in the hedging instrument's fair values (or cash flows) to the cumulative changes in the hedged item's fair value (or hedged transaction's cash flows) attributable to the risk hedged. At inception of the hedge, an entity may choose either approach in designating how effectiveness will be assessed, depending on the nature of the hedge documented in accordance with paragraphs 20(a) and 28(a). For example, an entity may decide that the cumulative approach is generally preferred, yet may wish to use the period-by-period approach in certain circumstances.

Paragraph 62 requires that at the time an entity designates a hedging relationship, it must define and document the method it will use to assess the hedge's effectiveness. That paragraph also states that ordinarily "an entity should assess effectiveness for similar hedges in a similar manner; use of different methods for similar hedges should be justified." Furthermore, it requires that an entity use that defined and documented methodology consistently throughout the period of the hedge. If an entity elects at inception of a hedging relationship to base its comparison of changes in fair value (or cash flows) on a cumulative approach, then that entity must abide by the results of that methodology as long as that hedging relationship remains designated. Electing to utilize a period-by-period approach instead of a cumulative approach (or vice versa) to perform retrospective evaluations of assessing hedge effectiveness under the dollar-offset method may affect whether an entity can apply hedge accounting for the current assessment period.

If an entity elects to base its comparison of changes in fair value (or cash flows) on a period-by-period approach, the period cannot exceed three months. Fair value (or cash flow) patterns of the hedging instrument or the hedged item (or hedged transaction) in periods prior to the period being assessed are not relevant.

The foregoing guidance relates to an entity's periodic retrospective assessment and determining whether a hedging relationship continues to qualify for hedge accounting; it does not relate to the actual measurement of hedge ineffectiveness to be recognized in earnings under hedge accounting. The actual measurement of ineffectiveness is based on the extent to which exact offset is not achieved as specified in paragraph 22 for fair value hedges or paragraph 30 for cash flow hedges.

The above response has been authored by the FASB staff and represents the staff's views, although the Board has discussed the above response at a public meeting and chosen not to object to dissemination of that response. Official positions of the FASB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberation.