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About APRA

This page provides an overview of APRA's role, as well as our mandate, vision and values

APRA's role

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is an independent statutory authority that supervises institutions across banking, insurance and superannuation, and is accountable to the Australian Parliament.

APRA was established by the Australian Government on 1 July 1998 following the recommendations of the Wallis Inquiry into the Australian financial system. 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.

APRA oversees:

  • 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).

Under the legislation that APRA administers, APRA is tasked with protecting the interests of depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.  

APRA promotes financial system stability by working closely with the Australian Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

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 also acts as a 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 provide this data in our statistical publications.

Our mandate

Our mandate is to protect the Australian Community by establishing and enforcing prudential standards and practices designed to ensure that, under all reasonable circumstances, financial promises made by institutions we supervise are met within a stable, efficient and competitive financial system.

Our vision

Our vision is to deliver a sound and resilient financial system, founded on excellence in prudential supervision.

Our values

Our values underpin the critical role we play in protecting the financial well-being of the Australian community. Our values were selected to help everyone at APRA to achieve the high standards necessary for us to protect the financial well-being of the Australian community. In our work and in our interactions with others, 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

Working and acting in these ways helps us achieve the high standards necessary for us to protect the financial well-being of the Australian community. 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.