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APRA publishes assessment of macroprudential settings

Monday 27 February 2023

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has published an update on its macroprudential policy settings, explaining the key factors that have informed current levels.

This paper provides greater transparency on macroprudential policy in line with APRA’s new framework which was published in 2021.

Macroprudential policy is an important feature of APRA’s toolkit. It involves policy measures aimed at promoting stability at a systemic level.  In an information paper released today, APRA confirmed its view that existing policy settings remain appropriate based on the current risk outlook. The operative settings are:

  • a neutral level for the countercyclical capital buffer of 1.0 percent of risk weighted assets, providing a buffer in bank capital for stress if needed; and
  • a 3 per cent serviceability buffer to maintain prudent lending standards.

APRA Chair John Lonsdale said the settings remained appropriate given the potential for domestic and global economic conditions to deteriorate.

“APRA closely monitors financial risks, and we see a high degree of uncertainty in the broader outlook, globally and domestically. On the one hand, there are signs of a deterioration in conditions, including falling asset prices and the potential for pockets of stress. On the other hand, lending standards are broadly sound, loan arrears remain low and the banking system is well capitalised. 

“On that basis, we believe our current macroprudential policy settings remain appropriate. In particular APRA’s view is that the 3 per cent level remains prudent given the potential for further interest rate rises, high inflation and risks in the labour market. 

“These settings, however, are not set in stone. The events of recent years have emphasised that conditions can change rapidly. We continue to closely monitor the outlook for credit growth, asset prices, lending conditions and financial resilience. Should risks to financial stability change, APRA will adjust its macroprudential policy settings accordingly after careful consideration and consultation with other agencies on the Council of Financial Regulators,” Mr Lonsdale said.

A copy of today’s information paper is available on APRA’s website at: Update on APRA’s Macroprudential Policy Settings.

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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, 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 $8.6 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.