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APRA proposes major uplift in transparency around banking data

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has proposed substantially increasing the volume and breadth of data it makes publicly available on authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs), including banks, credit unions and building societies.

The move towards greater transparency and scrutiny of the banking sector is aimed at increasing accountability, supporting competition and lifting overall industry standards.

In a letter to industry today, APRA outlined plans to determine that all data collected for its quarterly ADI publications should be considered non-confidential, allowing it to be published. APRA currently publishes less than 1 per cent of the ADI data it collects due to legal restrictions contained within the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Act 1998 (APRA Act). This change would allow APRA to significantly increase this figure.

From 2020, APRA proposes publishing: 

  • entity-level ADI data related to currently published industry-level quarterly data;
  • remaining historical data in these forms that individual ADIs are required to provide APRA, which will be published with a three-year lag; and
  • commentary received by APRA from individual ADIs explaining material revisions to, or large movements in, their data.

These proposals support APRA’s strategic policy of increasing the transparency of data it collects, and aligns with Government open data policies.
APRA’s Executive Director for Cross-Industry Insights and Data, Sean Carmody, said: “APRA is committed to increasing transparency about the institutions and industries we regulate. 

“Under these proposed changes, APRA intends to publish – for the first time – a range of information about individual ADIs, including their financial performance and property exposures.

“As with the recent inclusion of data from credit unions and building societies in our Monthly ADI Statistics publication, these changes are aimed at further strengthening the ADI sector by enhancing accountability and encouraging competition. They will also assist other regulatory agencies that rely on APRA data, as well as analysts, policymakers and others who use our publications.”

Under the APRA Act, APRA must consult ADIs and their representatives, including industry associations, before determining any new data to be non-confidential. A 12 week consultation is now underway and concludes on 28 February 2020. APRA is encouraging all interested parties to make submissions on issues including what, if any, data should remain confidential. 

APRA intends to consult on forms not included in this consultation at a later date.

More details on the consultation, including the letter to industry, can be found at: Confidentiality of data used in ADI quarterly publications and additional historical data.

Data collection

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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.