The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has published an updated Corporate Plan outlining how it intends to ensure the ongoing strength and resilience of the Australian financial system over the next four years.
The Corporate Plan for 2021-25 sets out APRA’s strategic priorities for protecting bank deposit-holders, insurance policyholders and superannuation members during the current period of disruption and uncertainty, while also ensuring it is focused on preparing for future challenges.
The latest Corporate Plan is based around the strategic theme of “protected today, prepared for tomorrow”.
As part of its goal of protecting the Australian community today, APRA intends to:
preserve the resilience of banks, insurers and superannuation funds, with a continuing focus on financial strength; cyber risks; governance, risk-culture, remuneration and accountability; and implementing the Government’s Your Future, Your Super reforms;
modernise the prudential architecture to ensure it is effective and accessible, less burdensome for entities, and more adaptable to the rapidly evolving financial sector; and
better enable data-driven decision-making by continuing to invest in and embed data as a core enabler for achieving APRA’s purpose and strategy.
Under the banner of “preparing for tomorrow”, the Corporate Plan outlines APRA’s aim of:
increasing its understanding of, and ability to respond to, the impact of new financial activities and participants, such as technological innovations and new business models that do not fit traditional regulatory approaches;
helping to find solutions to important challenges, such as superannuation retirement income products, insurance accessibility and affordability, and the financial risks of climate change; and
adopting the latest regulatory tools, techniques and practices in areas such as specialist regulatory services, enforcement actions, transparency and resolution.
In addition to strengthening the resilience of the entities it regulates, the Corporate Plan also outlines APRA’s goal of enhancing its own performance by fostering a modern, highly-skilled and flexible working environment.
APRA Chair Wayne Byres said: “After narrowing our focus last year to help support the industry through the early stages of the pandemic, our latest Corporate Plan once again widens APRA’s regulatory gaze and activities.
“With no sign of an imminent end to the COVID crisis, helping regulated entities and their customers through the pandemic and ensuring the financial system’s stability remain immediate priorities, but they are not the only challenges on the horizon. As the financial sector rapidly evolves, our updated Corporate Plan aims to ensure APRA and its regulated entities remain equipped to deal with existing, emerging and future trends and risks – whether it be the growing spectre of cyber-threats, continued access to affordable insurance, or the emergence of new technologies and market disrupters.
“While our strategic priorities may change over time, our core purpose remains constant: to ensure the financial system remains stable, efficient and competitive, and the financial interests of Australians are protected,” Mr Byres said.
The publication is available below:
An accessible version of the Corporate Plan can be found here.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is the prudential regulator of the financial services industry. It oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurers, friendly societies, and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA currently supervises institutions holding $7.9 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.
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