The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
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Chris Bowen

Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law

9 June 2009 - 14 September 2010

Media Release of 19/01/2010

NO.005

Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Prudential Refinements
and Other Measures) Bill 2010

The Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law, Chris Bowen MP, today released the Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Prudential Refinements and Other Measures) Bill 2010 for public consultation.

"The Government is committed to ensuring Australia has a regulatory framework that is risk based, consultative and consistent with international best practice", Mr Bowen said.

The Bill would further enhance APRA's ability to regulate bodies in the financial sector in accordance with prudential laws. This is consistent with developments overseas where countries such as the UK and the US, have sought to strengthen their financial regulatory frameworks.

Specifically, the measures contained in the Bill would further enhance APRA's powers to:

  • investigate and detect risks to prudentially regulated institutions and the financial system, and to promote financial system stability;
  • compel compliance with, and rectify breaches of, prudential requirements;
  • act when regulated financial institutions are at risk of experiencing financial distress and to ensure that distress is resolved without undermining financial stability;
  • administer the financial claims scheme, which protects deposits in Australian banks, credit unions and building societies (currently up to a limit of $1 million per depositor) and eligible policyholders of general insurers; and
  • collect data that APRA or the Government requires to identify and respond to developments in the financial sector.

This Bill would also make amendments to the financial sector levies frameworks that have been recommended by the 2009 Report of the Review of Financial Sector Levies.

The Government welcomes submissions regarding the measures contained in the Bill or regulatory offsets that could be made which would result in a net reduction in the cost of regulation given the Government's wider commitment to reducing overall regulatory costs.

Copies of the Bill, accompanying explanatory material and the report of the levies review can be obtained from the Treasury website: www.treasury.gov.au.

The closing date for submissions is 16 March 2010. Submissions may be lodged electronically, by post or facsimile.

Unless otherwise indicated by respondents, submissions will appear on the Treasury website.

19 January 2010