Note 2 - Accounting principles

Basis for preparing the consolidated annual accounts

The Group accounts for 2020 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 2020.

Implemented accounting standards and other relevant rule changes in 2020
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 2020 accounts that have been relevant, and the effect they have had on the group’s annual accounts.

Amendments to IFRS 3 - Definition of a Business
The amendments help 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. It also clarifies that to be considered a business, an integrated set of activities and assets must include, at a minimum, an input and a substantive process that together significantly contribute to the ability to create output. This assessment must be based on what has been acquired in its current state and condition.

The amendments also introduce an optional fair value concentration test to permit a simplified assessment of whether an acquired set of activities and assets is not a business. In addition to amending the wording of the definition, the Board has provided supplementary guidance. The amendments are applied to transactions for which the acquisition date is on or after the beginning of the first annual reporting period beginning on or after 1 January 2020.  The amendments have not had significant effects on acquisitions made in 2020.

Amendments to IAS 1 and IAS 8 - Definition of Material
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued amendments to its definition of material to make it easier to make materiality judgements. The definition of material helps decide whether information should be included in the financial statements. The amendments set out a new definition of material: “Information is material if omitting, misstating or obscuring it could reasonably be expected to influence decisions that the primary users of general purpose financial statements make on the basis of those financial statements, which provide financial information about a specific reporting entity“. Also, the amendments clarify that materiality depends on the nature or magnitude of information, or both. 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. The amendments have not had any effects for the group.

Amendment to IFRS 16 - Covid-19-Related Rent Concessions
In May 2020, the International Accounting Standards Board amended IFRS 16 Leases to provide relief to lessees from applying the IFRS 16 guidance on lease modifications to rent concessions arising as a direct consequence of the covid-19 pandemic. The amendment does not affect lessors.

The amendment exempts lessees from having to consider individual lease contracts to determine whether rent concessions occurring as a direct consequence of the covid-19 pandemic are lease modifications and allows lessees to account for such rent concessions as if they were not lease modifications. It applies to covid-19-related rent concessions that reduce lease payments due on or before 30 June 2021.

Lessees must apply the practical amendment retrospectively, recognizing the cumulative effect of initially applying the amendment as an adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings (or other component of equity, as appropriate) at the beginning of the annual reporting period in which the amendment is first applied.

The amendment is effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 June 2020, but earlier application is permitted. The Group has chosen to early adopt this amendment. The amendment has not had any effect for the group.

Amendments to IFRS 9, IAS 39, IFRS 7, IFRS 4 og IFRS 16 – IBOR Reform- Phase 2
In August 2020, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) adopted the second phase of the project related to the IBOR reform, which amends IFRS 9 Financial Instruments, IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures, IFRS 4; Insurance contracts and IFRS 16 Leases.

Phase 2 completes the IASB's response to the ongoing reform of interbank rates (IBOR) and other benchmark rates.

The changes complement phase 1 of the project that was adopted in 2019 and focus on the accounting effects that can occur when a company implements new benchmark interest rates as a result of the reform.

The changes in phase 2 mainly consist of the following:

  • Practical solution for special changes in contract-regulated cash flows
  • Relief from specific requirements related to hedge accounting
  • Disclosure requirements

The changes in phase 2 only apply if you have financial instruments or hedging relationships that include a reference rate that will change as a result of the reform. The changes apply for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2021. Early adoption is permitted.

SpareBank 1 SMN chose to early adopt the changes in phase 1 in the 2019 accounts. 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 loss provisions. 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 SpareBank 1 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 through 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). The general model for provisions for loss of financial assets in IFRS 9 applies to both financial assets measured at amortised cost and to financial assets at fair value with changes in value through profit or loss, which are not impaired when purchased or issued. In addition, unused credit, loan commitments and financial guarantee contracts that are not measured at fair value through profit or loss are also included. 

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 expected loss occuring due to defaults that occur within 12 months.

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 into account non-linear aspects of expected losses. The various scenarios are used to adjust relevant parameters for calculating expected losses, and a probability-weighted average of expected losses 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 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 given 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 where there is objective evidence of loss at the balance sheet date. 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

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.

Defaulted or 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.

Actual loan losses

Write-down for actual losses (derecognition of book value) 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.

Repossessed assets

As part of its treatment of defaulted loans and guarantees, the Bank in a number of 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. In the case of depreciable assets, depreciation ceases when a decision is taken to sell, and the asset is measured at fair value in accordance with IFRS 5. 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 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 derivatives are presented as assets when fair value is positive, and as liabilities when fair value is negative.

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.

Property held in order to earn rentals or for capital appreciation is classified as investment property and is measured at fair value in accordance with IAS 40. The group has no investment properties. 


Amounts recorded on the Bank’s non-financial assets are reviewed on the balance sheet date for any indications of value impairment. Should such indications be present, an estimate is made of the asset’s recoverable amount. Each year on the balance sheet date recoverable amounts on goodwill, assets with unlimited useful lifetime, and intangible assets not yet available for use, are computed. Write-downs are undertaken when the recorded value of an asset or cash-flow-generating entity exceeds the recoverable amount. Write-downs are recognised in profit/loss. Write-down of goodwill is not reversed. In the case of other assets, write-downs are reversed where there is a change in the estimates used to compute the recoverable amount.


Identifying a lease
At the inception of a contract, The Group assesses whether the contract is, or contains, a lease. A contract is, or contains, a lease if the contract conveys the right to control the use of an identified asset for a period of time in exchange for consideration.

The Group as a lessee
Separating components in the lease contract
For contracts that constitute, or contain a lease, the Group separates lease components if it benefits from the use of each underlying asset either on its own or together with other resources that are readily available, and the underlying asset is neither highly dependent on, nor highly interrelated with, the other underlying assets in the contract. The Group then accounts for each lease component within the contract as a lease separately from non-lease components of the contract.

Recognition of leases and exemptions
At the lease commencement date, the Group recognises a lease liability and corresponding right-of-use asset for all lease agreements in which it is the lessee, except for the following exemptions applied:

  • Short-term leases (defined as 12 months or less)
  • Low value assets

For these leases, the Group recognises the lease payments as other operating expenses in the statement of profit or loss when they incur.

Lease liabilities
The lease liability is recognised at the commencement date of the lease. The Group measures the lease liability at the present value of the lease payments for the right to use the underlying asset during the lease term that are not paid at the commencement date. The lease term represents the non-cancellable period of the lease, together with periods covered by an option either to extend or to terminate the lease when the Group is reasonably certain to exercise this option.

The lease payments included in the measurement comprise of:

  • Fixed lease payments (including in-substance fixed payments), less any lease incentives receivable
  • Variable lease payments that depend on an index or a rate, initially measured using the index or rate as at the commencement date
  • Amount expected to be payable by the Group under residual value guarantees
  • 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 lease liability is subsequently measured by increasing the carrying amount to reflect interest on the lease liability, reducing the carrying amount to reflect the lease payments made and remeasuring the carrying amount to reflect any reassessment or lease modifications, or to reflect adjustments in lease payments due to an adjustment in an index or rate.

The Group does not include variable lease payments in the lease liability. Instead, the Group recognises these variable lease expenses in profit or loss.
The Group presents its lease liabilities as separate line items in the statement of financial position.

Right-of-use assets

The Group measures the right-of use asset at cost, less any accumulated depreciation and impairment losses, adjusted for any remeasurement of lease liabilities. The cost of the right-of-use asset comprise:

  • The amount of the initial measurement of the lease liability recognised
  • Any lease payments made at or before the commencement date, less any incentives received
  • Any initial direct costs incurred by the Group.
  • An estimate of the costs to be incurred by the Group in dismantling and removing the underlying asset, restoring the site on which it is located or restoring the underlying asset to the condition required by the terms and conditions of the lease, unless those costs are incurred to produce inventories.

The Group applies the depreciation requirements in IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment in depreciating the right-of-use asset, except that the right-of-use asset is depreciated from the commencement date to the earlier of the lease term and the remaining useful life of the right-of-use asset.
The Group applies IAS 36 Impairment of Assets to determine whether the right-of-use asset is impaired and to account for any impairment loss identified.

The Group as a lessor

Separating components in the lease contract
For a contract that contains a lease component and one or more additional lease or non-lease components, The Group allocates the consideration in the contract applying the principles in IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers.

Recognition of leases and income
For contracts where the Group acts as a lessor, it classifies each of its leases as either an operating lease or a finance lease. A lease is classified as a finance lease if it transfers substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an underlying asset. A lease is classified as an operating lease if it does not transfer substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an underlying asset.

The group as a lessor does not have any finance leases.

Operating leases

For operating leases, the Group recognises lease payments as other income, mainly on a straight-line basis, unless another systematic basis is more representative of the pattern in which benefit from the use of the underlying asset is diminished. The Group recognises costs incurred in earning the lease income in other operating expenses. The Group adds initial direct costs incurred in obtaining an operating lease to the carrying amount of the underlying asset and recognises those costs as an expense over the lease term on the same basis as the rental income.

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. A discount rate of 2.05 per cent was employed when implementing IFRS 16.

Right-of-use assets are classified as non-current assets in the balance sheet whereas the lease liability is classified as other debt. 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.

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 instruments assets at amortised cost which have been written down as a result of objective evidence of loss, interest is recognised as income based on the net capitalised 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.

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

Issued securities debt (senior loans) are measured at amortised cost or as financial liabilities specifically accounted for at fair value with changes in value recognised in profit or loss. As a general rule, hedge accounting (fair value hedging) is used when issuing bond debt with a fixed interest rate. In hedging, there is a clear, direct and documented connection between changes in the value of the hedged item (loan) and the hedging instrument (interest rate derivative). For the hedged item, changes in fair value related to the hedged risk are accounted for as a addition or deduction in capitalised securities debt and are recognised in the income statement under «Net return on financial investments». The hedging instruments are measured at fair value and the changes in fair value are recognised in the income statement on the same profit line as the hedging objects. Debt when issuing securities is presented including accrued interest. See note 29 for a more detailed description of hedge accounting

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.

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 25 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 2020

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 to 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 IAS 1 - Classification of Liabilities as Current or Non-Current

The International Accounting Standards Board has issued amendments to IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements to clarify how to classify debt and other liabilities as current or non-current.

The amendments aim to promote consistency in applying the requirements by helping companies determine whether, in the statement of financial position, debt and other liabilities with an uncertain settlement date should be classified as current (due or potentially due to be settled within one year) or non-current. The amendments include clarifying the classification requirements for debt a company might settle by converting it into equity.

The amendments clarify:

  • The meaning of right to defer settlement
  • That the right to defer must exist at the end of the reporting period
  • That classification is not affected by the probability that an entity will exercise its deferral right
  • That the terms of a liability would not impact its classification, only if an embedded derivative is an equity instrument itself.

The amendments must be applied retrospectively and are effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023. 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 16 - Proceeds before Intended Use

The amendments prohibit a company from deducting from the cost of property, plant and equipment any proceeds from selling items produced while the company is preparing the asset for its intended use. Instead, a company will recognize such proceeds and related cost in profit or loss.

The amendment must be applied retrospectively only to items of PP&E made available for use on or after the beginning of the earliest period presented when the entity first applies the amendment.

The amendment is effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2022, but earlier application is permitted if, at the same time or earlier, an entity also applies all of the amendments contained in the Amendments to References to the Conceptual Framework in IFRS Standards (March 2018). 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 37 - Onerous Contracts, Costs of Fulfilling a Contract

The amendments clarify that for the purpose of assessing whether a contract is onerous, the cost of fulfilling the contract includes both the incremental costs (e.g., the costs of direct labour and materials) of fulfilling that contract and an allocation of other costs that relate directly to fulfilling contract activities (e.g., depreciation of equipment used to fulfil the contract, as well as costs of contract management and supervision). Costs that do not relate directly to a contract (e.g., general and administration costs) shall not be included unless they are explicitly chargeable to the counterparty under the contract.

The amendments must be applied prospectively to contracts for which an entity has not yet fulfilled all of its obligations at the beginning of the annual reporting period in which it first applies the amendments.

The amendments are effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2022, but earlier 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.

Annual Improvements 2018-2020 Cycle (Issued May 2020)

IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards - Subsidiary as a first-time adopter
The amendment permits a subsidiary that uses the exemption in IFRS 1.D16 (a) to measure cumulative translation differences for all foreign operations at the carrying amount that would be included in the parent’s consolidated financial statements, based on the parent date of transition to IFRS. This election is also available to an associate or joint venture that uses the exemption in IFRS 1.D16 (a).

An entity applies the amendment for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2022. Earlier application is permitted.

IFRS 9 Financial Instruments - Fees in the ’10 per cent’ test for derecognition of financial liabilities
The amendment clarifies the fees an entity includes when assessing whether the terms of a new or modified financial liability are substantially different from the terms of the original financial liability. In determining those fees paid net of fees received, a borrower includes only fees paid or received between the borrower and the lender, including fees paid or received by either the borrower or lender on the other’s behalf. No similar amendment has been proposed for IAS 39.

An entity applies the amendment to financial liabilities that are modified or exchanged on or after the beginning of the annual reporting period in which the entity first applies the amendment.

An entity applies the amendment for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2022. Earlier application is permitted.

Annual report and notes

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