17 July 2019

Government Response to the APRA Capability Review

The Morrison Government has today released the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) Capability Review, alongside the Government and APRA’s responses.

The Government announced the establishment of the Review on 11 February 2019 in response to the Hayne Royal Commission and previous recommendation of the Productivity Commission.

The Panel made 24 recommendations, with 19 directed to APRA and the remaining five directed to the Government. The Review found that APRA is an ‘impressive and forceful’ regulator in matters of traditional financial risk. However, the Review has also identified important changes to ensure that APRA is well positioned to respond to an environment of growing complexity and emerging risks for APRA’s regulated sectors.

APRA has indicated to Government that it supports all 19 recommendations directed to it. The Government notes that APRA is already implementing a number of the recommendations, and will promptly begin initiatives to implement the remainder.

The Government has also agreed to take action on all five of the recommendations directed to it. In response to the Review, the Government will:

  • Ensure that APRA has sufficient powers and flexibility to prevent inappropriate directors and senior executives from being appointed or re-appointed to regulated entities, as part of extending the Banking Executive Accountability Regime;
  • Consider changes to APRA’s regulatory framework including a review of penalties, amending its private health insurance licensing powers and providing APRA with the power to appoint a person to undertake a review of a regulatory entity;
  • In establishing the Financial Regulator Oversight Authority, streamline and improve the effectiveness of both APRA and ASIC’s accountability arrangements;
  • Outline its expectations for APRA on superannuation in its next Statement of Expectations; and
  • Work with APRA and the Australian Public Service Commission to better understand and address any restrictions within the current APS Bargaining Framework in order to ensure APRA can attract and retain high skilled staff.

An independent, robust and effective prudential regulator is essential for safeguarding the financial safety and the financial stability of the Australian economy. The Government is confident that the response it has announced today, alongside action from APRA, will ensure that APRA is in a position to effectively respond to these new challenges and deliver on its mandate.

The Government would like to thank the expert panel that conducted the review, consisting of Chair Mr Graeme Samuel AC, Ms Diane Smith-Gander AO and Mr Grant Spencer, and also thank those that contributed to the Review.