I am pleased to formally announce the reappointment Dr John Laker AO as Chair and Mr Ross Jones as Deputy Chair of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority each for a further five-year period from 1 July 2008. This announcement follows Cabinet approval of their reappointment on 5 June 2008 and approval by the Governor-General at the Executive Council meeting today.
I appreciate the strong leadership that Dr Laker, ably supported by Mr Jones, has provided in his important role overseeing the financial system and ensuring the efficient functioning of APRA as an agency. I look forward to their continuing contribution to maintaining Australia's high quality financial regulation system.
The quality of APRA's prudential supervision has been important in helping Australia's financial sector weather the global financial market turmoil of recent months in sound shape. The quality of Australia's financial sector regulation is recognised around the world and is a strong contributor to the world class financial services industry of this country which plays a key role in the economic development of Australia.
Dr Laker has been Chairman of APRA since 2003 and a member from 1998 to 2003. Dr Laker worked in the Commonwealth Treasury and International Monetary Fund before joining the Reserve Bank of Australia's International Department in 1982. He held senior positions in the economic, bank supervision and international areas before becoming the RBA's Chief Representative in Europe, based in London, from 1991 to 1993. Dr Laker was appointed Assistant Governor (Financial System) of the RBA in March 1998 and prior to that, Assistant Governor (Corporate Services). Dr Laker is APRA's representative on the Payments System Board of the RBA and APRA's representative on the Council of Financial Regulators. He has also held the role of Deputy Chairman of the Payments System Board from July 1998 until June 2003.
Mr Jones has been the Deputy Chairman of APRA since 2003. Within APRA he takes principal responsibility for superannuation and chairs APRA's Enforcement Committee. He is Vice Chairman of the OECD Working Party on Private Pensions, a member of the Singapore Central Provident Fund Advisory Panel and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors. Prior to joining APRA, Mr Jones was a Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and a Chairman of the International Air Services Commission. He is also an Associate Professor in the School of Finance and Economics at the University of Technology, Sydney.
APRA is the prudential regulator of the Australian financial services industry. It oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, friendly societies, and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA is funded largely by the industries that it supervises. It was established on 1 July 1998. APRA currently supervises institutions holding approximately $3 trillion in assets for 21 million Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.
APRA currently has three full-time members who are Dr John Laker AO (Chairman), Mr Ross Jones (Deputy Chairman) and Mr John Trowbridge (Member).
24 June 2008