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Federal Court grants injunction to stop another unauthorised banking business

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has welcomed a court decision granting an injunction to prevent an individual from carrying on unauthorised banking business and using the word “bank” without a licence.

APRA lodged an application in the Federal Court of Australia on 29 September 2023 seeking orders to restrain Robert Bruce Gray from operating and marketing businesses in Australia that he describes as banks, despite not being authorised to carry on a banking business. Mr Gray’s purported businesses include Commercial Development Bank and Creditnet Bank Internationale.

Handing down his decision today (13 February 2024) in Sydney, Justice Shariff made orders with immediate effect permanently restraining Mr Gray from:

  • carrying on any banking business in Australia;
  • assuming or using the word “bank” (or similar words) in relation to any purported bank, business or purported business; and
  • advertising, representing, or stating that any purported bank, business, or purported business will carry on banking business.

Mr Gray has also been ordered to pay APRA’s costs of the proceedings.

Under the Banking Act 1959, only authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) licensed by APRA are permitted to carry on banking business in Australia, including referring to themselves as “banks” or describing their services as “banking services”.

Mr Gray, who has not participated in the proceedings, had ignored requests from APRA to stop using the term “bank” in connection with his businesses and cease carrying on any unauthorised banking business. Any failure to comply with court orders is contempt of court.

It’s the second recent case where APRA has successfully taken court action to stop an individual carrying on unauthorised banking business1.

Deputy Chair Margaret Cole urged consumers to be vigilant and research unfamiliar businesses describing themselves as banks before depositing money.

“APRA protects bank depositors through its licensing regime, prudential framework and active supervision. We have taken action once again to prevent Australians mistakenly believing they are depositing money with an APRA-regulated entity and receiving the same protections. We will continue to hold entities and individuals to account to ensure that Australians’ financial interests are safe,” Ms Cole said.

Deposits in APRA-regulated banks are protected by the Government’s Financial Claims Scheme (FCS) up to $250,000 per account holder. If consumers are unsure whether a financial institution is a bank, they can check the list of all APRA-regulated ADIs at: Register of authorised deposit-taking institutions or contact APRA at


1APRA welcomes court decision to stop unauthorised banking business | APRA

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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.