ABA, SIFMA ask SEC to delay effective date on crypto-asset bulletin

Amid the growing ownership of digital assets like cryptocurrencies, the American Bankers Association and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association on Friday asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide key clarifications and delay the effective date of its staff accounting bulletin on crypto assets.

SEC staff accounting bulletin 121—issued in March and with an effective date for the quarter ending June 30, 2022—requires in many cases that SEC registrants record an obligation to safeguard crypto assets that it holds at the fair value of the related assets. “[T]his guidance has raised a number of policy, scope, and legal questions given its potential broad long-term impact on our member firms, which we are reviewing and addressing with the SEC, as well as other regulators and policy stakeholders,” ABA and SIFMA wrote, adding that “our member firms believe there are a number of questions regarding the scope and application of SAB 121 and, therefore, believe deferral of the effective date is necessary to ensure these matters are appropriately addressed.”

The associations also asked for clarification on the scope and application of SAB 121 and noted that the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the prudential bank regulators are engaged in their own projects related to digital assets. “The fact that these processes are ongoing, coupled with the lack of clarity regarding scope and application of SAB 121, impacts the ability of our members to meet their regulatory reporting requirements,” they said.