This excerpt taken from the PNC 10-K filed Mar 2, 2009.
Our asset valuation may include methodologies, estimations and assumptions that are subject to differing interpretations and could result in changes to asset valuations that may materially adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition.
We must use estimates, assumptions, and judgments when financial assets and liabilities are measured and reported at fair value. Assets and liabilities carried at fair value inherently result in a higher degree of financial statement volatility. Fair values and the information used to record valuation adjustments for certain assets and liabilities are based on quoted market prices and/or other observable inputs provided by independent third-party sources, when available. When such third-party information is not available, we estimate fair value primarily by using cash flows and other financial modeling techniques utilizing assumptions such as credit quality, liquidity, interest rates and other relevant inputs. Changes in underlying factors, assumptions, or estimates in any of these areas could materially impact our future financial condition and results of operations.
During periods of market disruption, including periods of significantly rising or high interest rates, rapidly widening credit spreads or illiquidity, it may be difficult to value certain of our assets if trading becomes less frequent and/or market data becomes less observable. There may be certain asset classes that were in active markets with significant observable data that become illiquid due to the current financial environment. In such cases, certain asset valuations may require more subjectivity and management judgment. As such, valuations may include inputs and assumptions that are less observable or require greater estimation. Further, rapidly changing and unprecedented credit and equity market conditions could materially impact the valuation of assets as reported within our consolidated financial statements, and the period-to-period changes in value could vary significantly. Decreases in value may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.