The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) was established 25 years ago as an independent statutory authority that supervises institutions across banking, insurance and superannuation, and is accountable to the Australian Parliament.
When APRA opened its doors on 1 July 1998, the value of assets managed by entities supervised by APRA was $1.1 trillion. This has grown to $8.6 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.
Now, APRA regulates 1,844 financial institutions, including:
- authorised deposit-taking institutions (such as banks, building societies and credit unions)
- general insurers
- life insurers
- friendly societies
- private health insurers
- reinsurance companies, and
- superannuation funds (other than self-managed funds).
More information is available in the 2022-23 Corporate Plan, available here:
Prudential regulation is concerned with maintaining the safety and soundness of financial institutions, so that the community can have confidence that they will meet their financial commitments under all reasonable circumstances.
Under the legislation that APRA administers, APRA is tasked with protecting the interests of depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.
Financial Claims Scheme
While APRA seeks to reduce the likelihood of a financial institution failing, it cannot, and does not, guarantee that failure may never occur. In the unlikely event an APRA-regulated institution were to fail, APRA has the role of administering the Financial Claims Scheme when activated by the Australian Government. This Scheme allows depositors of a failed deposit-taker to access their funds (up to a limit) in a timely manner, or provides general insurance policyholders with access to funds (up to a limit) to meet an eligible claim.
APRA is also the national statistical agency for the financial sector, collecting data both for its own uses and on behalf of the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. We regularly aggregate and publish this data, including by industry.
Our purpose is to ensure Australians' financial interests are protected and that the financial system is stable, competitive and efficient.
Our vision is focused on two strategic themes: Protected today, prepared for tomorrow.
Our values underpin the critical role we play in protecting the financial wellbeing of the Australian community. In all our work, we seek to demonstrate:
- Integrity – we act without bias, are balanced in the use of our powers, and deliver on our commitments.
- Collaboration – we actively seek out and encourage diverse points of view, to produce well-founded decisions
- Accountability – we are open to challenge and scrutiny, and take responsibility for our actions
- Respect – we are always respectful of others, and their opinions and ideas
- Excellence – we maintain high standards of quality and professionalism in all that we do
Our supervisory approach
Our supervisory approach is forward-looking, primarily risk-based, consultative, consistent and in line with international best practice. This approach also recognises that management and boards of supervised institutions are primarily responsible for financial soundness.