Extend APRA scrutiny to insurance sector, says bank lobby



The Australian Bankers’ Association says a government proposal to expand APRA’s powers to monitor bank executives’ conduct should be extended to the insurance and superannuation sectors.

Australian Bankers’ Association chief executive Anna Bligh made the call at a media conference last week where she criticised the government’s bank levy as a “hasty tax grab”.

The government tabled the bank levy in Parliament yesterday. The levy was first announced as part of the 9 May federal budget, along with proposed powers for APRA to strip bank executives of their bonuses.

The APRA powers would be part of a Banking Executive Accountability Regime that would require all senior executives to be registered with the prudential regulator.

Ms Bligh said banks, “like any employer”, want to “make sure they employ the best people with the highest integrity and banks will work with the regulator to ensure a workable scheme is designed”.

“It will be important to see the detail of the proposed new powers for APRA to ensure there are no unintended consequences,” she said.

“If it relates only to senior executives working in banking, the question has to be asked why. After all, the community would expect the same high standards of individuals working not only in banks, but also the broader finance industry, including superannuation and insurance companies.”

Ms Bligh called on APRA to ensure there is a “thorough consultation to get this right”.

 

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