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Annual accounts of banks and other financial institutions

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Annual accounts of banks and other financial institutions

This Directive harmonises the format and contents of the annual accounts of all financial institutions within the Community.


Council Directive 86/635/EEC of 8 December 1986 on the annual accounts and consolidated accounts of banks and other financial institutions [Official Journal L 372, 31 December 1986].


The Directive applies to most credit institutions (e.g. banks) and other financial institutions, with a few exceptions such as:

  • Greece: Eteba (National Investment Bank for Industrial Development);
  • Ireland: industrial and provident societies.

Standard balance sheet layout. Assets and liabilities are presented in decreasing order of liquidity.

Special provisions for certain balance sheet items such as cash in hand, treasury bills, loans and advances to credit institutions, amounts owed to credit institutions, etc.

Two standard profit-and-loss account layouts: there is a vertical layout and a horizontal layout.

Special provisions on certain items in the profit-and-loss account such as interest receivable, income from securities, net profit or loss on financial operations, etc.

Valuation rules for assets, financial fixed assets, securities held by credit institutions, transferable securities, loans and advances, variable-yield securities, and assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currency.

Detailed list of the required contents of the notes on the accounts.

Separate provisions relating to the drawing up of consolidated accounts.

Publication of annual accounts as laid down by national law. Where the annual report is not published, copies must be available at a price which does not exceed their administrative cost.

Special concessions for public savings banks. Where statutory auditing is reserved for an existing supervisory body a separate audit requirement need not be imposed.



Entry into force - Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal




OJ L 372 of 31.12.86

Directive 2001/65/EC



OJ 283 of 27.10.01

Directive 2003/51/EC



OJ L 178 of 17.7.03

Directive 2006/43/EC



OJ L 157 of 9.6.06

Directive 2006/46/EC



OJ L 224 of 16.8.06


Directive 2006/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 amending Council Directives 78/660/EEC on the annual accounts of certain types of companies, 83/349/EEC on consolidated accounts, 86/635/EEC on the annual accounts and consolidated accounts of banks and other financial institutions and 91/674/EEC on the annual accounts and consolidated accounts of insurance undertakings (Text with EEA relevance)

Directive 2006/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts, amending Council Directives 78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC and repealing Council Directive 84/253/EEC [Official Journal L 157, 9 June 2006]. The Directive aims to improve the credibility of financial information and to step up the protection of the European Union (EU) against financial scandal. It contains, among other things, provisions on the requirement for external quality assurance, public supervision, use of international standards, duties of the statutory auditors and principles regarding the latter's independence.

Directive 2003/51/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2003 amending Directives 78/660/EEC , 83/349/EEC , 86/635/EEC and 91/674/EEC on the annual and consolidated accounts of certain types of companies, banks and other financial institutions and insurance undertakings [Official Journal L 178, 17 July 2003]. The Directive is designed to harmonise the accounting rules applying to companies and other bodies not subject to Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European parliament and of the Council on the application of international accounting standards to listed companies (around 5 million such companies). It thus removes any discrepancy between the accounting Directives and the Regulation on the application of international accounting standards (IAS) since it makes it possible to apply the IAS accounting options to companies that retain the accounting directives as their basic legislation. The Directive also clarifies the treatment of off-balance-sheet financing (debts and loans) and extends beyond the financial aspects the risk analysis made in companies' management reports. It also spells out the compulsory content of an audit report.

Directive 2001/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 amending Directives 78/660/EEC , 83/349/EEC and 86/635/EEC as regards the valuation rules for the annual and consolidated accounts of certain types of companies as well as of banks and other financial institutions [Official Journal L 283, 27 September 2001]. The Directive sets out to modernise European accounting rules by authorising fair-value accounting (fair value normally being taken to mean the current value of a financial instrument on the market, as opposed to its historical cost). Some companies, banks and financial institutions in the EU will thus be able to draw up accounts that are understood and accepted worldwide. The Directive also amends the Fourth and the Seventh Company Law Directives.

Commission Recommendation of 30 May 2001 on the recognition, measurement and disclosure of environmental issues in the annual accounts and annual reports of companies [C(2001)453/EC - published in Official Journal L 156, 13 June 2001]. This recommendation clarifies the accounting rules applicable and indicates how to improve the quality, transparency and comparability of environmental data in annual company accounts and reports. The lack of a shared set of rules for the disclosure of environmental issues in financial information makes it very difficult to make valid comparisons between companies. The recommendation helps and encourages companies to improve the environmental information made available to regulating authorities, investors, financial analysts and the general public. It is applicable to the accounting Directives on certain forms of companies (Fourth and Seventh Directives), banks and insurance companies. It also takes into account the provisions requiring companies quoted on the stock exchange to apply international accounting standards (IAS) as of 2005.

Commission report of 1 September 1993, in accordance with Article 2(3) of Directive 86/635/EEC, on the use of derogating rules providing for adaptations to the layout, nomenclature, terminology and content of items in the balance sheet and the profit and loss account [COM(93) 414 final - Not published in the Official Journal]. According to the report, the position at 1 May 1993 was as follows: eight Member States (Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Ireland and Luxembourg) had not granted derogations (in Greece, transposition of the Directive was not yet complete, although the existing situation precluded any possibility of derogation). The following four countries had introduced derogations: Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Last updated: 25.01.2007