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APRA signs multilateral insurance MoU

Monday 26 October 2009

 

09.35

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has entered into a formal arrangement to exchange information and cooperate with other insurance supervisors around the world.

APRA Executive Member John Trowbridge, who has responsibility for insurance supervision at APRA, over the weekend signed the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ (IAIS) Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) at the IAIS Annual Conference in Brazil.

Mr Trowbridge said ‘becoming a signatory to this international arrangement means that we will have in place a better legal framework for cooperation and information exchange with other insurance supervisors. In an increasingly globalised world where companies undertake business across borders, such arrangements enable supervisors to be more responsive and effective’.

The MMoU sets minimum standards to protect the confidentiality of information shared between signatories and to ensure that information is used only for the purposes for which is it provided. The development of the IAIS MMoU, and similar arrangements covering other types of internationally active financial services firms, has a high priority in the work of the Financial Stability Board, which was established under the auspices of the G20 to coordinate regulatory responses to the global financial crisis.

APRA joins with French and Dutch insurance regulators as the latest signatories to the MMoU, taking the total number of signatories to six. The German, Chinese Taipei and Bermudian insurance regulators joined earlier this year. Applications from around 20 further members are under review.

This IAS MMoU supplements the information-sharing arrangements that APRA already has with 19 other financial services regulators. A copy of the MMoU will soon be placed on the About APRA section of the APRA website.

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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 $6.5 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.