Cash Flows Identification-Only Principal And Interest – FAQ | IFRS

Cash flows identification-Only Principal and interest

Cash flows solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount

The following examples illustrate contractual cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding. For the context within IFRS 9: Financial Instruments, reference is made to IFRS 9 The Solely Payments of Principal and Interest Test (IFRS 9 The solely payments of principal and interest test).

 

This list of examples is not exhaustive.

Instrument

Analysis

Instrument A

Instrument A is a bond with a stated maturity date.

Payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding are linked to an inflation index of the currency in which the instrument is issued.

The inflation link is not leveraged and the principal is protected.

.

The contractual cash flows are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding. Linking payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding to an unleveraged inflation index resets the time value of money to a current level. In other words, the interest rate on the instrument reflects ‘real’ interest. Thus, the interest amounts are consideration for the time value of money on the principal amount outstanding.

However, if the interest payments were indexed to another variable such as the debtor’s performance (eg the debtor’s net income) or an equity index, the contractual cash flows are not payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding (unless the indexing to the debtor’s performance results in an adjustment that only compensates the holder for changes in the credit risk of the instrument, such that contractual cash flows are solely payments of principal and interest).

That is because the contractual cash flows reflect a return that is inconsistent with a basic lending arrangement (see paragraph B4.1.7A).

Instrument B

Instrument B is a variable interest rate instrument with a stated maturity date that permits the borrower to choose the market interest rate on an ongoing basis. For example, at each interest rate reset date, the borrower can choose to pay three-month LIBOR for a three-month term or one-month LIBOR for a one-month term.

.

The contractual cash flows are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding as long as the interest paid over the life of the instrument reflects consideration for the time value of money, for the credit risk associated with the instrument and for other basic lending risks and costs, as well as a profit margin (see paragraph B4.1.7A). The fact that the LIBOR interest rate is reset during the life of the instrument does not in itself disqualify the instrument.

However, if the borrower is able to choose to pay a one-month interest rate that is reset every three months, the interest rate is reset with a frequency that does not match the tenor of the interest rate.

Consequently, the time value of money element is modified. Similarly, if an instrument has a contractual interest rate that is based on a term that can exceed the instrument’s remaining life (for example, if an instrument with a five-year maturity pays a variable rate that is reset periodically but always reflects a five-year maturity), the time value of money element is modified.

That is because the interest payable in each period is disconnected from the interest period.

In such cases, the entity must qualitatively or quantitatively assess the contractual cash flows against those on an instrument that is identical in all respects except the tenor of the interest rate matches the interest period to determine if the cash flows are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding. (But see paragraph B4.1.9E for guidance on regulated interest rates.)

For example, in assessing a bond with a five-year term that pays a variable rate that is reset every six months but always reflects a five-year maturity, an entity considers the contractual cash flows on an instrument that resets every six months to a six-month interest rate but is otherwise identical.

The same analysis would apply if the borrower is able to choose between the lender’s various published interest rates (eg the borrower can choose between the lender’s published one-month variable interest rate and the lender’s published three-month variable interest rate).

Instrument C

Instrument C is a bond with a stated maturity date and pays a variable market interest rate. That variable interest rate is capped.

Cash flows identification-Only Principal and interest

Cash flows identification-Only Principal and interest

Cash flows identification-Only Principal and interest

Cash flows identification-Only Principal and interest

Cash flows identification-Only Principal and interest

Cash flows identification-Only Principal and interest

.

The contractual cash flows of both:

  1. an instrument that has a fixed interest rate and
  2. an instrument that has a variable interest rate

are payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding as long as the interest reflects consideration for the time value of money, for the credit risk associated with the instrument during the term of the instrument and for other basic lending risks and costs, as well as a profit margin. (See paragraph B4.1.7A)

Consequently, an instrument that is a combination of (a) and (b) (eg a bond with an interest rate cap) can have cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding. Such a contractual term may reduce cash flow variability by setting a limit on a variable interest rate (eg an interest rate cap or floor) or increase the cash flow variability because a fixed rate becomes variable.

Instrument D

Instrument D is a full recourse loan and is secured by collateral.

.

The fact that a full recourse loan is collateralised does not in itself affect the analysis of whether the contractual cash flows are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding.

Instrument E

Instrument E is issued by a regulated bank and has a stated maturity date.

The instrument pays a fixed interest rate and all contractual cash flows are non-discretionary.

However, the issuer is subject to legislation that permits or requires a national resolving authority to impose losses on holders of particular instruments, including Instrument E, in particular circumstances.

For example, the national resolving authority has the power to write down the par amount of Instrument E or to convert it into a fixed number of the issuer’s ordinary shares if the national resolving authority determines that the issuer is having severe financial difficulties, needs additional regulatory capital or is ‘failing’.

.

The holder would analyse the contractual terms of the financial instrument to determine whether they give rise to cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding and thus are consistent with a basic lending arrangement.

That analysis would not consider the payments that arise only as a result of the national resolving authority’s power to impose losses on the holders of Instrument E. That is because that power, and the resulting payments, are not contractual terms of the financial instrument.

In contrast, the contractual cash flows would not be solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding if the contractual terms of the financial instrument permit or require the issuer or another entity to impose losses on the holder (eg by writing down the par amount or by converting the instrument into a fixed number of the issuer’s ordinary shares) as long as those contractual terms are genuine, even if the probability is remote that such a loss will be imposed.

Leave a comment