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APRA pushes for banking data transparency reform

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In a letter to the banking industry, APRA has outlined plans for all data it collects for quarterly ADI publications to be considered non-confidential and able to be published.

The move would substantially increase the volume and breadth of data the regulator publishes on ADIs, including banks, credit unions and building societies. Currently, it only publishes 1 per cent of the data it collects due to legal restrictions in the APRA Act.

The prudential regulator has proposed that from 2020 it will publish entity-level ADI data related to currently published industry-level quarterly data, remaining historical data in forms that individual ADIs are required to provide APRA – but only published after a three-year lag, and commentary received by APRA from individual ADIs explaining material revisions to, or large movements in, their data.

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APRA said its proposal supports its strategic policy of increasing the transparency of data it collects and aligns with government open data policies.

According to the regulator, progressing towards greater transparency and scrutiny of the banking sector is aimed at increasing accountability, supporting competition and lifting overall industry standards.

Sean Carmody, APRA’s executive director for cross-industry insights and data, said the body is committed to increasing transparency.

“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,” Mr Carmody said.

“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, the regulator must consult ADIs and their representatives, including industry associations, before determining any new data to be non-confidential. 

Thus, a 12-week consultation is now underway, due to conclude on 28 February. APRA has invited interested parties to make submissions on issues including what, if any, data should remain confidential.

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

 

APRA pushes for banking data transparency reform
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Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth. 

Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio. 

You can contact her on [email protected].

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