Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced APRA has been given an almost $60 million funding boost to beef-up its supervision and “enforcement powers”. Picture: AAP
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced APRA has been given an almost $60 million funding boost to beef-up its supervision and “enforcement powers”. Picture: AAP

Bank regulator gets $60m funding boost

BANK regulator APRA has been given an almost $60 million funding boost to beef up its supervision and enforcement powers after a damning interim report from the royal commissioner.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also announced the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chair Wayne Byres has been reappointed to lead the regulator for another five year term this morning as he unveiled the $58.7 million funding boost.

Mr Frydenberg said the funding injection over four years would boost the number of frontline supervisors monitoring the largest and most complex financial institutions, and would allow for a review of APRA's "enforcement strategy".

It comes after royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne savaged APRA and conduct regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, in his interim report in September for allowing misconduct in the banking sector to go "effectively unpunished".

 

"When misconduct was revealed, it either went unpunished or the consequences did not meet the seriousness of what had been done," Mr Hayne wrote.

"The conduct regulator, ASIC, rarely went to court to seek public denunciation of and punishment for misconduct.

"The prudential regulator, APRA, never went to court."

Mr Frydenberg said the government was continuing to investing in the regulators to ensure they had the resources and powers they needed to enforce the law, improve community confidence and maintain the stability of the financial system.

He also said Mr Byres' reappointment as chair for five years was "important for stability during this time of significant reform in Australia's financial system".

"The new funding as well as the reappointment of Mr Byres and appointment of a second Deputy Chair, Mr John Lonsdale, will support APRA in developing a stronger focus on accountability and enforcement in the financial system," he said.

The extra funding will also go towards improving APRA's ability to identify and address new risk areas in the banking sector such as cyber, fintech and culture and boost its data collection capabilities to allow for inter-agency intelligence sharing.



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