The American Bankers Association urged the Financial Accounting Standards Board to make changes to fair value, or mark-to-market, accounting rules when its board meets this week, arguing that the accounting rules for banking institutions often provide misleading information on financial statements. In a statement on the FASB proposal to alter the statement 157 on mark-to-market rules, the ABA argued that is critical to make immediate improvements to financial reporting. Many financial institutions have long complained about statement 157, which was implemented in 2007 to change the definition of fair value -- the measure of the worth of an asset on a company's books -- and the methods used to measure fair value. The mark-to-market rules have led to assets being priced well below their real value, making it impossible for banks to purge toxic assets from their books at anything but fire-sale prices. Others argue that mark-to-market rules have certain advantages, such as accurately revealing the extent of problem assets and the deteriorating financial condition of institutions. In its letter to the FASB, the ABA said that mark-to-market rules should not be suspended, saying they can indeed be very useful. "However, the method to determine mark-to-market should be improved," the ABA said. The FASB will consider proposals on Thursday and how they relate to how financial companies like Citigroup ( C) and Bank of America ( BAC) are required to take writedowns on impaired assets, and how companies can determine whether a market is not active and a transaction is not distressed.