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Financial regulators and industry meet

by Martha.Ware 21. July 2011 09:19

The Board of the Finance Industry Council of Australia (FICA) held talks on Tuesday with the APRA Chairman and Members, and the ASIC Chairman and Commissioners, on regulatory and other issues facing the industry.

The annual liaison meeting discussed a wide range of matters relevant to the Australian finance industry both at a national and international level.

International developments that have the potential to have an impact on the Australian industry were discussed, including the Basel III capital and liquidity standards, the influence of technology on securities markets and US tax law.

Domestic issues around banking reform, superannuation reform, competition in exchange-traded markets, and the recent superannuation and insurance reviews were also covered.

All participants agreed that good continuing dialogue between the industry and its regulators is important to ensuring balanced outcomes for the industry and the broader community.

FICA comprises the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA), Abacus - Australian Mutuals, Australian Finance Conference (AFC), Australian Financial Markets Association (AFMA), Australian Securitisation Forum, Financial Services Council (FSC) and the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

For further comments please call:
APRA: Charlie Hooper (02) 9210 3052
ASIC: media unit 1300 208 215
FICA: Duncan Fairweather (02) 9776 7990

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Greg Medcraft - Address to the APRA leadership team

by Martha.Ware 6. July 2011 09:30

In a recent speech to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority leadership team, Greg Medcraft, the Chairman of ASIC, spoke about ASIC's strategy for the future, the overlap of responsibilities between ASIC and APRA, and the future shape of the securitisation market. For a full transcript of the speech, click here.



Legal Services Expenditure Report 2009-10

by Hilary Kincaid 6. January 2011 09:58

The Attorney-General has released the 2009-2010 Legal Services Expenditure Report.

The report sets out expenditure by agencies regulated by the Financial Management and Accountability Act (FMA agencies) and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act (CAC agencies).  Overall expenditure by both groups of agencies was $640.6m, in internal and external legal services.

The number of direct briefs to counsel has increased fivefold.

Both FMA and CAC agencies paid a total of $254.9m to law firms in professional fees. The AGS was the principal recipient (43%), with Clayton Utz (11%) and Blake Dawson (8%) following close behind. ASIC spent a total of approx $80m on legal services in 2009-2010, with $30m of that being external expenditure (ie payments to counsel and firms).

A full copy of the report is available from the Attorney-General’s website.


APRA | ASIC | Litigation

APRA conducts review of conditions for use of the term ‘bank’

by Hilary Kincaid 6. January 2011 09:53

Against the background of the government’s Competitive and Sustainable Banking Reforms (an exposure draft of the proposed amending legislation is available on the Treasury site, comment closes 14 January 2011), APRA is reviewing the conditions for approval for the use of the term ‘bank’.

Under s 66 of the Banking Act 1959, financial businesses must obtain consent from APRA before they can use the restricted terms ‘bank’, ‘banker’ and ‘banking’.

Since 2000, building societies and credit unions have been able to use the adjective ‘banking’ in relation to their services under the terms of a class consent granted by APRA. However, ‘bank’ and ‘banker’ remain restricted to ADIs with $50m or more in Tier 1 capital.

APRA is looking for written submissions on the guidelines as part of its review – submissions are open until Friday 31 January 2011. The current guidelines on implementation of s 66 are available on the APRA site in pdf format.

Submissions may be made by email to section66review@apra.gov.au. More information is available on the APRA site.

Austrade launches 2010 Financial Services Benchmark Report

by Hilary Kincaid 30. September 2010 12:15

Austrade has released its 2010 Financial Services Benchmark Report (copy available on their official site).

Australia’s financial services sector produces more than ten per cent of Australia’s annual GDP, and contributes almost four times more to national output than agriculture and fishing. It is also larger than mining, and has an estimated workforce of 400,000.

Australia is number 13 in the list of the world's largest economies, with a 1.93% share of the world nominal GDP - only just behind India with 2.21%.

The report makes interesting reading, and clearly sets out year on year developments and growth worldwide.




APRA releases revised proposals for Financial Claims Scheme

by Hilary Kincaid 31. August 2010 11:21

APRA has released a response paper and draft reporting standard as part of the second round of consultation in relation to the implementation of a Financial Claims Scheme for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs).

The FCS was established in October 2008 and is designed to provide some protection to depositors if their ADI is placed into liquidation in insolvency.

The response paper outlines key issues arising from submissions received in response to the consultation paper issued in January 2010. APRA has made some modifications to its proposals in response to those submissions: 

  • extending the period for providing FCS-related data to APRA from 48 hours to 72 hours of a request being made for the data;
  • requiring a reasonable assurance audit initially and every three years thereafter, rather than every year as proposed earlier, with limited assurance reviews in the intervening years;
  • no requirement for ADIs to include accrued interest, fees and charges in their reporting of deposit data for FCS testing purposes; and
  • providing a transition period of at least 12 months (extendable for up to a further 24 months on a case-by-case basis) before the FCS reporting obligations take effect. 

Submissions on the reporting standard and response paper are due by 15 October 2010. Subject to those submissions, APRA intends to release the final reporting standard in late 2010, to take effect from 1 April 2011. The consultation package is available on the official APRA site.

Once the standard is in effect (and after the relevant transitional period is over), ADIs will be required to report scheme-related data in a prescribed format to APRA forthwith following a request to that effect. There will also be periodic testing of ADIs' responsiveness.

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APRA releases quarterly performance statistics for March 2010

by Hilary Kincaid 26. August 2010 14:07

APRA has released the quarterly performance statistics for banks, credit unions and building societies for March 2010. Due to the market sensitivity of the profit information of listed banks, statistics are not made available until no earlier than four months after the end of the relevant reporting period.

The statistics are available in both pdf and Excel formats.

The statistics reveal some interesting trends - the net after-tax profit for building societies and credit unions (when taken together) for year end March 2010 increased by 16% from March 2009. However, the net after-tax profit for all banks for year end March 2010 decreased by 5% from March 2009.




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