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APRA finalises new approach to licensing and supervising new banks

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has finalised its revised approach to licensing and supervising new authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs).

APRA’s updated approach, comprising stronger requirements for being granted a banking licence and closer supervision of new entrants as they seek to establish themselves, was released for consultation on 18 March 2021. 

The revised approach followed a review of APRA’s ADI licensing regime aimed at incorporating learnings since the launch of the Restricted ADI licensing pathway in 2018. It was designed to encourage more sustainable competition in the banking sector by ensuring new ADIs are better equipped to succeed.

Today’s package responds to feedback received during the consultation. APRA’s final position remains largely consistent with its original proposals, with the most significant clarifications relating to milestones in the progression of a licence application. 

Under the finalised approach: 

  • restricted ADIs must achieve a limited launch of both an income-generating asset product and a deposit product before being granted an ADI licence;
  • there is increased clarity around capital requirements at different stages for new entrants, aimed at reducing volatility in capital levels and facilitating a transition to the methodology for established ADIs over time; and
  • new entrants are expected to have a more advanced contingency plan to respond to financial stress, including an option to execute the ADI’s orderly and solvent exit from banking business.

The new approach comes into effect immediately, although much of the information package published today is simply a formalisation of existing practice.

The response paper, final information paper and the two guidelines released today are available on the APRA website at: Licensing for authorised deposit-taking institutions.

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Contact APRA Media Unit, on +61 2 9210 3636

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For more information contact APRA on 1300 558 849.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is the prudential regulator of the financial services industry. It oversees banks, mutuals, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurers, friendly societies, and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA currently supervises institutions holding around $9 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.