Note 2 - Accounting principles

Basis for preparing the consolidated annual accounts
The Group accounts for 2019 for SpareBank 1 SMN have been prepared in conformity with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) which have been given effect in Norway. These include interpretations from the International Financial Reporting Interpretations. Committee (IFRIC) and its predecessor, the Standing Interpretations Committee (SIC). The measurement base for both the parent bank and group accounts is historical cost with the modifications described below. The accounts are presented based on IFRS standards and interpretations mandatory for accounts presented as at 31 December 20189

Implemented accounting standards and other relevant rule changes in 2019
The applied accounting principles are consistent with the principles applied in the preceding accounting period, with the exception of those changes to IFRS which have been implemented by the group in the current accounting period. Below is a list of amendments to IFRS with effect for the 2019 accounts that have been relevant, and the effect they have had on the group’s annual accounts.

IFRS 16 Leases
IFRS 16 Leases are effective from 1 january 2019 and replaces IAS 17 Leases. IFRS 16 sets out principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases for both parties to a lease agreement, i.e. the customer (lessee) and the offeror (lessor). The new standard requires lessees to recognise assets and liabilities for the majority of leases, which is a significant change from today’s principles. For lessors, IFRS 16 continues in all essentials the existing principles in IAS 17. Accordingly, a lessor must continue to classify its lease agreements as operating or finance leases, and to account for those two types of leases differently.

The Group has implemented the standard by applying a simplified method without restatement of prior year comparatives. Upon transition SpareBank 1 SMN have recognised an obligation to make lease payments (lease liability) and an asset representing its right to use the underlying asset in the period of the lease (right-of-use asset). In the profit and loss account, depreciation of the right-of-use asset have been accounted for separately from the interest on the lease liability.

SpareBank 1 SMN has decided to apply the following practical expedients:

  • To exempt assets of low value
  • To omit to recognise non-lease components
  • Not to restate comparatives upon implementation. A right-of-use asset and a lease liability will be measured at the same amount, taking into account prepayments and provisions made as at 31 December 2018.

Method of measurement and recognition

Measurement of the lease liability
The lease liability is measured as the current value of the lease payments for the right to use the underlying asset in the lease term. The lease term is the non-cancellable period of the lease. The lease term also includes any option to extend the lease provided there is reasonable certainty that the option will be exercised. The same applies to an option to terminate the lease provided there is reasonable certainty that the option will be exercised.

Lease payments included in the measurement consist of:

  • fixed lease payments (including in-substance fixed payments)
  • variable lease payments that depend on an index or interest rate, initially measured using the index or interest rate at the commencement date
  • the exercise price of a purchase option if the Group is reasonably certain to exercise that option 
  • payments of penalties for terminating the lease if the lease term reflects the Group exercising an option to terminate the lease

The Group does not include in the lease liability variable lease payments that arise out of agreed-upon index regulation subject to future events, such as inflation. Instead the Group recognises these costs in profit/loss in the period in which the event or the circumstance that triggers the payments arises.

The lease liability is thereafter measured by increasing the carrying amount to reflect interest on the lease liability, reducing the carrying amount to reflect lease payments made and re-measuring the carrying amount to reflect any reassessment or lease modifications, or to reflect adjustments in lease payments due to adjustment of an index or rate.

The Group presents the lease liability together with other debt, whereas the right of use is presented together with other assets in the consolidated balance sheet.

Recognition and discount rate
IFRS 16 refers to two different methods of determining the discount rate for lease payments:

  • The rate implicit in the lease
  • The lessee’s incremental rate of borrowing, if the implicit rate is not readily determined

Lease contracts covered by IFRS 16 vary as regards term and option structure. Moreover, assumptions must be made as to the opening value of the underlying assets. Both of these items make an implicit interest calculation more complicated than an incremental borrowing rate calculation.

SpareBank 1 SMN has a framework for transfer pricing that is designed to provide as correct a picture as possible of how various balance sheet items, business lines, segments or regions in the bank contribute to the bank’s profitability. The starting point for the transfer pricing rates is the bank’s historical cost of funding. The Group’s cost of funding can be split up into a cost related to senior unsecured debt and a cost related to capital (hybrid capital and subordinated loan capital). The latter cost of funding shall, like other equity, be distributed on assets based on risk weights. The cost related to own funds (hybrid capital and subordinated loan capital) then appears as a further transfer price addition to the loan accounts.

The bank also has indirect liquidity costs related to liquidity reserves. These are reserves that the bank is required to hold by the authorities along with reserves of surplus liquidity held by the bank for shorter periods. The liquidity reserves have a substantial negative return measured against the bank’s cost of funding. This cost is distributed on balance sheet items that create a need for liquidity reserves, and appear as a reduction from the transfer price interest for deposits and an addition as regards loans.

Transfer Price rate = cost of funding + addition for liquidity reserve cost + addition for cost of capital

In the transfer pricing the bank’s liquidity cost or cost of funding is distributed on assets and liabilities, and is actively utilised in the internal account. The transfer price is accordingly a well-established tool in the governance of the bank, and is regularly updated.

The transfer price interest rate for an asset with the corresponding underlying, in this case commercial property, will therefore be a good representation of the incremental borrowing rate. This discount rate will include the material additions to the cost of funding, giving a more correct picture of the opportunity cost for the bank. This interest rate have been used as the discount rate for the Group’s leases coming under IFRS 16. For 2019 a discount rate of 2.05 per cent is employed.

The Group’s lease liability relates in all essentials to lease agreements for offices. Detailed information about the leases are included in note 33 Leases.

Amendments to IFRS 9, IAS 39 and IFRS 7 due to the IBOR reform

IASB released amendments to IFRS 9, IAS 39 and IFRS 7 in September 2019. The amendments provide companies with temporary reliefs to certain requirements related to hedge accounting in the period of uncertainty before the replacement of an existing interest rate benchmark with an alternative nearly risk-free interest rate (an RFR). The effective date of the amendments is for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2020, with early application permitted. The bank as chosen to early adopt the changes. This choice means that the bank's hedging relationships continues unaffected by the IBOR reform. The IBOR reform is an ongoing process where interest rate benchmark rates used in receivables, loans and derivates are replaced by new interest rates.  Additional qualitative and quantitative information about the hedges have been included in note 29 Hedge accounting.

Presentation currency
The presentation currency is the Norwegian krone (NOK), which is also the bank’s functional currency. All amounts are stated in millions of kroner unless otherwise specified.

The consolidated accounts include the Bank and all subsidiaries which are not due for divestment in the near future and are therefore to be classified as held for sale under IFRS 5. All undertakings controlled by the Bank, i.e. where the Bank has the power to control the undertaking’s financial and operational principles with the intention of achieving benefits from the undertaking’s activities, are regarded as subsidiaries. Subsidiaries are consolidated from the date on which the Bank has taken over control, and are deconsolidated as of the date on which the Bank relinquishes control. Mutual balance sheet items and all significant profit elements are eliminated.

Upon takeover of control of an enterprise (business combination), all identifiable assets and liabilities are recognised at fair value in accordance with IFRS 3. A positive difference between the fair value of the consideration and the fair value of identifiable assets and liabilities is recorded as goodwill, while any negative difference is taken to income upon purchase. Accounting for goodwill after first-time recognition is described under the section on intangible assets.

All intra-group transactions are eliminated in the preparation of the consolidated accounts. The non-controlling interests’ share of the group result is to be presented on a separate line under profit after tax in the income statement. In the statement of changes in equity, the non-controlling interests’ share is shown as a separate item.

Associated companies
Associates are companies in which the Bank has substantial influence. As a rule, influence is substantial where the Bank has an ownership interest of 20 per cent or more. Associates are accounted for by the equity method in the consolidated accounts. The investment is initially recognised at acquisition cost and subsequently adjusted for the change in the Bank’s share of the associated undertaking’s net assets. The Bank recognises its share of the profit of the associated undertaking in its income statement. Associates are accounted for in the parent bank accounts by the cost method. See also note 39 Investments in owner interests.

Joint arrangements
Under IFRS 11 investments in Joint arrangements shall be classified as Joint operations or joint ventures depending on the right and obligations in the contractual arrangement for each investor. SpareBank 1 SMN has assessed its joint arrangements and concluded that they are joint ventures. Jointly controlled ventures are accounted for using the equity method in the group and the cost method in the parent bank.

When the equity method is used joint ventures are recognised at their original acquisition cost. The carrying amount is thereafter adjusted to recognise the share of the results after the acquisition and the share of comprehensive income. When the group's share of a loss in a joint venture exceeds the capitalized amount (including other long-term investments that are in reality part of the group's net investment in the venture), no further loss is recognized unless liabilities have been assumed or payments have been made on behalf of the joint venture. Unrealized gains on transactions between the group and its joint ventures are eliminated according to the ownership interest in the business. Unrealized losses are also eliminated unless the transaction gives evidence of a fall in value on the transferred asset. Amounts reported from joint ventures are, if necessary, restated to ensure they correspond with the accounting policies of the group. See also note 39 Investments in owner interests.

Loans and loan losses
Loans held in “hold to collect” business model are measured at amortised cost. Amortised cost is acquisition cost less repayments of principal, plus or minus cumulative amortisation resulting from the effective interest rate method, with deductions for any value fall or loss likelihood. The effective interest rate is the interest rate which precisely discounts estimated future cash in- or out-payments over the financial instrument’s expected lifetime.

The Bank sells only parts of the loans qualified for transfer to SpareBank1 Boligkreditt. Loans included in business models (portfolios) with loans qualifying for transfer are therefore held both to collect cash flows and for sales. The Bank therefore classify all residential mortgages at fair value over other comprehensive income. Fair value on such loans at initial recognition are measured at the transaction price, without reduction for 12 month expected credit loss.

Fixed interest loans to customers are recognised at fair value through profit or loss. Gains and losses due to changes in fair value are recognised in the income statement as fair value changes. Accrued interest and premiums/discounts are recognised as interest. Interest rate risk on fixed interest loans is managed through interest rate swaps which are recognised at fair value. It is the group’s view that recognising fixed interest loans at fair value provides more relevant information on carrying values. 

Loan impairment write-downs
Loan loss provisions are recognised based on expected credit loss (ECL). Measurement of the provision for expected loss depends on whether credit risk has increased significantly since first-time recognition. Upon first-time recognition, and when credit risk has not increased significantly since first-time recognition, provision shall be made for a 12-month expected loss. If credit risk has risen significantly, provision shall be made for expected loss across the entire life.

Loss estimates are prepared quarterly, and build on data in the data warehouse which has historical accounting and customer data for the entire credit portfolio. The bank uses three macroeconomic scenarios to take account of non-linear aspects of expected losses. The various scenarios are used in order to adjust relevant parameters for calculating expected loss, and a probability-weighted average of expected loss under the respective scenarios is recognised as a loss.

Loss estimates are computed based on 12-month and lifelong probability of default (PD), loss given default (LGD) and exposure at default (EAD). The data warehouse contains historical data for observed PD and observed LGD. This forms the basis for estimating future values for PD and LGD. In keeping with IFRS 9 the bank groups its loans in three stages.

Stage 1:
This is the starting point for all financial assets covered by the general loss model. All assets that do not have significantly higher credit risk than at first-time recognition receive a loss provision corresponding to 12 months’ expected loss. All assets that are not transferred to stage 2 or 3 reside in this category.

Stage 2:
Stage 2 of the loss model encompasses assets that show a significant increase in credit risk since first-time recognition, but where objective evidence of loss is not present. For these assets a provision for expected loss over the entire lifetime is to be made. In this group we find accounts with a significant degree of credit deterioration, but which at the balance sheet date belong to customers classified as performing. As regards delineation against stage 1, the bank defines ‘significant degree of credit deterioration’ by taking a basis in whether the exposure’s calculated probability of default (PD) shows a significant increase. SpareBank 1 SMN has decided to utilise both absolute and relative changes in PD as criteria for transfer to stage 2. The most important factor for a significant change in credit risk is the quantitative change in PD on the period end compared to the PD at first time recognition. A change in PD by more than 150 per cent is considered to be a significant change in credit risk. The change will have to be over 0.6 percentage points. In addition, customers with payments 30 days past due will be transferred to stage 2. A qualitative assessment is also done when engagements have been put on watch list or forbearance.

The thresholds for movement between stage 1 and stage 2 are symmetrical. After a financial asset has transferred to stage 2, if its credit risk is no longer considered to have significantly increased relative to its initial recognition, the financial asset will move back to stage 1. The same applies to assets in stage 3, if the basis for the placement in stage 3 is no longer present, the asset will be migrated to stage 1 or 2.

Stage 3:
Stage 3 of the loss model encompasses assets that show a significant increase in credit risk since loan approval and at the balance sheet date there is objective evidence of loss which will reduce the future cash flows. For these assets a provision shall be made for expected loss over the entire lifetime. These are assets which under previous rules were defined as defaulted and written down.

Impairment must be a result of one or more events occurring after first-time recognition (a loss event), and it must be possible to measure the result of the loss event(s) reliably. Objective evidence of impairment of a financial asset includes observable data which come to the group’s knowledge on the following loss events:

  • Significant financial difficulties on the part of the issuer or borrower
  • A not insignificant breach of contract, such as failure to pay instalments and interest
  • The group grants the borrower special terms in light of financial or legal aspects of the borrower’s situation
  • The debtor is likely to start debt negotiation or other financial restructuring
  • Active markets for the financial asset are closed due to financial problems
  • Customers with payments more than 90 days past due will always be transferred to stage 3

The group assesses first whether individual objective evidence exists that individually significant financial assets have suffered impairment. Where there is objective evidence of impairment, the size of the impairment is measured as the difference between the asset’s carrying value and the present value of estimated future cash flows (excluding future credit losses that have not been incurred), discounted at the financial asset’s original effective interest rate. The carrying value of the asset is reduced through a provision account and the loss is recognised in the income statement.

Where the balance of evidence suggests that the losses are permanent, the losses are classified as actual losses. Actual losses covered by earlier specified loss provisions are reflected in such loss provisions. Actual losses not covered by loss provisions, as well as surpluses and deficits in relation to earlier loss provisions, are recognised in the income statement.

Defaulted / non-performing loans
Total customer commitments are considered as defaulted and are included in the bank's list of defaulted commitments when past due
installments or interest are not paid within 90 days of maturity or  creditlines are overdrawn for 90 days or more. Loans and other commitments that are not in default, but where the customer's financial situation makes it likely that the bank will incur losses,
are classified as non-performing loans.

Non-performing loans consist of total non-performing loans over 3 months and other non-performing loans (non-performing loans with individual impairment).

Write-down for losses are made when the bank has no reasonable expectations to recover the asset in its whole or partially. Criteria for write-down are as follows:

. Closed bankruptcy in limited liability companies
· Confirmed chord / debt negotiations
· Settlement for other companies with limited liability
· Ended living at death
· By lawful judgment
· Collateral is realized

The commitment will normally be placed on long-term monitoring in case the debtor should again become solvent and suable.

Impairment of assets recognised at fair value
At each balance sheet date the group assesses whether evidence exists that a financial asset or group of financial assets recognised at fair value is susceptible to impairment. Losses due to impairment are recognised in the income statement in the period in which they arise.

Repossessed assets
As part of its treatment of defaulted loans and guarantees, the Bank in some cases takes over assets furnished as collateral for such exposures. Upon repossession the assets are valued at their presumed realisable value. Any deviation from the carrying value of a defaulted or written down exposure upon takeover is classified as a loan write-down. Repossessed assets are carried according to type. Upon final disposal, the deviation from carrying value is reported in profit or loss in accordance with the type of asset as per the accounts.

Non-current assets held for sale and discontinued operations
Assets which the board of directors of the bank has decided to sell are dealt with under IFRS 5 if it is highly likely that the asset will be sold within 12 months. This type of asset comprises for the most part assets taken over in connection with bad loans, and investments in subsidiaries held for sale. Fixed assets and groups of fixed assets and liabilities classified as held for sale are measured at the lowest
value of book value and fair value less selling expenses. The result of such activity and appurtenant assets and liabilities are presented on a separate line as held for sale.

Securities and derivatives
Securities and derivatives comprise shares and units, money market instruments and bonds, and derivative currency, fixed income and equity instruments. Shares and units are classified at fair value through profit/loss. Money market instruments and bonds are classified at fair value through profit/loss. Derivatives are invariably recognised at fair value through profit/loss.

All financial instruments classified at fair value through profit/loss are measured at fair value, and any change in value from the opening balance is recognised as gain or losses from other financial investments. Financial assets held for trading purposes are characterised by frequent trading and by positions being taken with the aim of short-term gain. Other such financial assets classified at fair value through profit/loss are investments defined upon first-time recognition as classified at fair value through profit/loss (fair value option).

Financial derivatives are presented as assets when fair value is positive, and as liabilities when fair value is negative.

Money market instruments and bonds classified as loans and receivables or held to maturity are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method; see the account of this method under the section on loans.

Intangible assets
Intangible assets mainly comprise goodwill in the SpareBank 1 SMN Group. Other intangible assets will be recognised once the conditions for entry in the balance sheet are present. Goodwill arises as the difference between the fair value of the consideration upon purchase of a business and the fair value of identifiable assets and liabilities; see description under Consolidation. Goodwill is not amortised, but is subject to an annual depreciation test with a view to revealing any impairment, in keeping with IAS 36. Testing for value impairment is done at the lowest level at which cash flows can be identified.

Intangible assets acquired separately are carried at cost. Useful economic life is either finite or infinite. Intangible assets with a finite economic life are depreciated over their economic life and tested for impairment upon any indication of impairment. The depreciation method and period are assessed at least once each year.

Property, plant and equipment
Property, plant and equipment along with property used by the owner are accounted for under IAS 16. The investment is initially recognised at its acquisition cost and is thereafter depreciated on a linear basis over its expected useful life. When establishing a depreciation plan, the individual assets are to the necessary extent split up into components with differing useful life, with account being taken of estimated residual value. Property, plant and equipment items which individually are of little significance, for example computers and other office equipment, are not individually assessed for residual value, useful lifetime or value loss, but are assessed on a group basis. Property used by the owner, according to the definition in IAS 40, is property that is mainly used by the Bank or its subsidiary for its own use.

Property, plant and equipment which are depreciated are subject to a depreciation test in accordance with IAS 36 when circumstances so indicate.

Interest income and expenses
Interest income and expenses related to assets and liabilities which are measured at amortised cost or fair value over OCI are recognised in profit/loss on an ongoing basis using the effective interest rate method. Charges connected to interest-bearing funding and lending are included in the computation of effective interest rate and are amortised over expected lifetime. For debt securities on the asset side, recognised at amortised cost and written down as a result of objective evidence of loss, interest is recognised as income based on the net balance sheet amount.

In the case of interest-bearing instruments measured at fair value in profit or loss, the market value will be classified as income from other financial investments. In the case of interest-bearing instruments at amortised cost or fair value over OCI and not utilised for hedging, the premium/discount is amortised as interest income over the term of the contract.

Commission income and expenses
Commission income and expenses are generally accrued in step with the provision of the service. Charges related to interest-bearing instruments are not entered as commission, but are included in the calculation of effective interest and recognised in profit/loss accordingly. Consultancy fees accrue in accordance with a consultancy agreement, usually in step with the provision of the service. The same applies to ongoing management services. Fees and charges in connection with the sale or mediation of financial instruments, property or other investment objects which do not generate balance sheet items in the Bank’s accounts are recognised in profit/loss when the transaction is completed. The Bank receives commission from SpareBank 1 Boligkreditt and SpareBank 1 Næringskreditt corresponding to the difference between the interest on the loan and the funding cost achieved by SpareBank 1 Boligkreditt and SpareBank 1 Næringskreditt. This shows as commission income in the Bank’s accounts.

Transactions and holdings in foreign currency
Transactions in foreign currency are converted to Norwegian kroner at the transaction exchange rate. Gains and losses on executed transactions or on conversion of holdings of monetary items on the balance sheet date are recognised in profit/loss. Gains and losses on conversion of items other than monetary items are recognised in the same way as the appurtenant balance sheet item. 

Hedge accounting
The Bank evaluates and documents the effectiveness of a hedge in accordance with IAS 39. The Bank employs fair value hedging to manage its interest rate risk. In its hedging operations the Bank protects against movements in the market interest rate. Changes in credit spread are not taken to account when measuring hedge effectiveness. In the case of fair value hedging, both the hedging instrument and the hedged object are recorded at fair value, and changes in these values from the opening balance are recognised in profit/loss.

Income taxes
Tax recorded in the income statement comprises tax in the period (payable tax) and deferred tax. Period tax is tax calculated on the taxable profit for the year. Deferred tax is accounted for by the liability method under IAS 12. Calculation of deferred tax is done using the tax rate in effect at any time. Liabilities or assets are calculated on temporary differences i.e. the difference between balance-sheet value and tax-related value of assets and liabilities. However, liabilities or assets are not calculated in the case of deferred tax on goodwill for which there is no deduction for tax purposes, nor on first-time-recognised items which affect neither the accounting nor the taxable profit.

A deferred tax asset is calculated on a tax loss carryforward. Deferred tax assets are recognised only to the extent that there is expectation of future taxable profits that enable use of the tax asset. Withholding tax is presented as period tax. Wealth tax is presented as an operating expense in the group accounts under IAS 12.

Deposits from customers
Customer deposits are recognised at amortised cost.

Debt created by issuance of securities
Loans not included in hedge accounting are initially recognised at acquisition cost. This is the fair value of the compensation received after deduction of transaction fees. Loans are thereafter measured at amortised cost. Any difference between acquisition cost and settlement amount at maturity is accordingly accrued over the term of loan using the effective rate of interest on the loan. The fair value option is not applied in relation to the group’s debt.

Subordinated debt and hybrid capital
Subordinated debt are measured at amortised cost like other long-term loans. Subordinated debt ranks behind all other debt. Hybrid capital denotes bonds with a nominal interest rate, but the Bank is not obliged to pay interest in a period in which no dividend is paid, nor does the investor subsequently have a right to interest that has not been paid, i.e. the interest does not accumulate. Hybrid Capital have been classified as equity since these do not satisfy the definition of a financial liabiltiy in IAS 32. The bond is perpetual and SpareBank 1 SMN has the right to not pay interest to the investors. The interest will not be presented as an interest expense in the income statement, but as a reduction to equity. See also note 3 for a closer description. The treatment of subordinated debt and hybrid capital in the calculation of the group’s capital adequacy is described in note 5 Capital adequacy and capital management. 

Financial guarantees issued
Financial guarantees are contracts that require the bank to reimburse the holder for a loss due to a specific debtor failure to pay in accordance with the terms is classified as issued financial guarantees. On initial recognition of issued financial guarantees, the guarantees are recognised in the balance sheet at the received consideration for the guarantee. Subsequent measurement assesses issued financials
guarantees to the highest amount of the loss provision and the amount that was recognised at initial recognition less any cumulative income recognised in the income statement. When issuing financial guarantees, the consideration for the guarantee is recognised under "Other liabilities" in the balance sheet. Revenue from issued financial guarantees and costs related to purchased financial guarantees is amortised over the duration of the instrument and presented as "Commission income" or "Commission expenses". Changes in expected credit losses are included in the line «Losses on loans and guarantees» in the income statement

Loan commitments
Expected credit losses are calculated for loan commitments and presented as "Other liabilities" in the balance sheet. Changes in the provision for expected losses are presented in the line «Losses on loans and guarantees» in the income statement. For instruments that have both a drawn portion and an unutilised limit, expected credit losses are distributed pro-rata between provisions for loan losses and provisions in the balance sheet based on the relative proportion of exposure.

The SpareBank 1 SMN Group has a pension scheme for its staff that meet the requirements set for mandatory occupational pensions. SpareBank 1 SMN had a defined benefit scheme previously. This was terminated from 1 January 2017. The settlement gain was in accordance with IAS 19 taken to the income statement in 2016 when the decision was made. The Group employees transferred to a defined contribution scheme.

Defined contribution scheme
Under a defined contribution pension scheme the group does not provide a future pension of a given size; instead the group pays an annual contribution to the employees’ collective pension savings. The future pension will depend on the size of the contribution and the annual return on the pension savings. The group has no further obligations related to employees’ labour contribution after the annual contribution has been paid. There is no allocation for accrued pension obligations under such schemes. Defined contribution schemes are directly expensed. Any pre-paid contributions are recognised as an asset (pension assets) to the extent the contribution can be refunded or reduce future inpayments.

The contributions are made to the pension fund for full-time employees, and the contribution is from 7 per cent from 0-7,1 G and 15 per cent from 7.1 – 12 G. The premium is expensed as incurred. See also note 22 Pensions.

Early retirement pension scheme (“AFP”)
The banking and financial industry has established an agreement on an early retirement pension scheme (“AFP”). The scheme covers early retirement pension from age 62 to 67. The Bank pays 100 per cent of the pension paid from age 62 to 64 and 60 per cent of the pension paid from age 65 to age 67. Admission of new retirees ceased with effect from 31 December 2010. The Act on state subsidies in respect of employees who take out contractual pension in the private sector (AFP Subsidies Act) entered into force on 19 February 2010. Employees who take out AFP with effect in 2011 or later will receive benefits under the new scheme. The new AFP scheme represents a lifelong add-on to National Insurance and can be taken out from age 62. Employees accumulate AFP entitlement at an annual rate of 0.314 per cent of pensionable income capped at 7.1G up to age 62. Accumulation under the new scheme is calculated with reference to the employee’s lifetime income, such that all previous working years are included in the qualifying basis.

For accounting purposes the new AFP scheme is regarded as a defined benefit multi-employer scheme. This entails that each employer accounts for its pro rata share of the scheme’s pension obligation, pension assets and pension cost. If no calculations of the individual components of the scheme and a consistent and reliable basis for allocation are available, the new AFP scheme will be accounted for as a defined-contribution scheme. At the present time no such basis exists, and the new AFP scheme is accordingly accounted for as a defined-contribution scheme. The new AFP scheme will only be accounted for as a defined-benefit scheme once reliable measurement and allocation can be undertaken. Under the new scheme, one-third of the pension expenses will be funded by the State, two-thirds by the employers. The employers’ premium will be fixed as a percentage of salary payments between 1G and 7.1G.

In keeping with the recommendation of the Norwegian Accounting Standards Board, no provision was made for the group’s de facto AFP obligation in the accounting year. This is because the office that coordinates the schemes run by the main employer and trade union organisations has yet to perform the necessary calculations.

Segment reporting
SpareBank 1 SMN has Retail Banking and Corporate Banking, along with the most important subsidiaries and associates as its primary reporting segments. The group presents a sectoral and industry distribution of loans and deposits as its secondary reporting format. The group’s segment reporting is in conformity with IFRS 8.

Dividends and gifts
Proposed dividends on equity certificates and gifts are recognised as equity capital in the period to the declaration of dividends by the bank’s supervisory board.

Events after the balance sheet date
The annual accounts are regarded as approved for publication once they have been considered by the board of directors. The supervisory board and regulatory authorities can thereafter refuse to approve the accounts, but not to change them. Events up to the time at which the accounts are approved for publication, and which relate to circumstances already known on the balance sheet date, will be included in the information base for accounting estimates and thus be fully reflected in the accounts. Events concerning circumstances that were not known on the closing date will be illuminated if significant.

The accounts are presented on the going-concern assumption. In the view of the board of directors this assumption was met at the time the accounts were approved for presentation.

The board of directors’ proposal for dividends is set out in the directors’ report and in the statement of changes in equity.

New or revised accounting standards approved but not implemented in 2019
Those standards and interpretations that have been adopted up to the date of presentation of the consolidated accounts, but whose entry into force is scheduled for a future date, are set out below. The group’s intention is implement the relevant changes at the time of their entry into force, on the proviso that the EU approves the changes before presentation of the consolidated accounts.

Amendments to IFRS 3 Definition of a Business
The amendments will help companies determine whether an acquisition made is of a business or a group of assets. The amended definition emphasises that the output of a business is to provide goods and services to customers, whereas the previous definition focused on returns in the form of dividends, lower costs or other economic benefits to investors and others. In addition to amending the wording of the definition, the Board has provided supplementary guidance.

The amendments must be applied to transactions for which the acquisition date is on or after the first the beginning of the first annual reporting period beginning on or after 1 January 2020. Early application is permitted. The Group does not intend to early adopt the amendments.

It is not expected that the amendments will have significant effects for the group.

Amendments to IAS 1 and IAS 8 - Definition of Material
The International Accounting Standards Board has issued amendments to its definition of material to make it easier for companies to make materiality judgements. The definition of material, an important accounting concept in IFRS Standards, helps companies decide whether information should be included in their financial statements. The updated definition amends IAS 1 and IAS 8.

The amendments are a response to findings that some companies experienced difficulties using the old definition when judging whether information was material for inclusion in the financial statements.

The amendments clarify the definition of material and how it should be applied by including in the definition guidance that until now has featured elsewhere in IFRS Standards. In addition, the explanations accompanying the definition have been improved. Finally, the amendments ensure that the definition of material is consistent across all IFRS Standards.

The changes are effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2020, but companies can decide to apply them earlier. The Group does not intend to early adopt the amendments.

It is not expected that the amendments will have significant effects for the group.


Annual report and notes

© SpareBank 1 SMN