The prudential regulator's 2015 stakeholder survey has returned broadly positive results, but the cost of compliance continues to receive "by far" the lowest score.
APRA engaged Australian Survey Research in April and May 2015 to carry out the 2015 APRA Stakeholder Survey, which surveyed 278 regulated institutions and 75 'knowledgeable observers'.
The survey, which has been conducted since 2009, contained 53 items rated on a scale from 1 ('strongly disagree') to 5 ('strongly agree').
APRA received the highest 2015 mean score of 4.7 for the item 'APRA staff demonstrate its value of integrity', with other high-ranking items including 'APRA's prudential framework is effective in achieving APRA's mission' and 'APRA effectively enforces its prudential requirements'.
However, the lowest-scoring item, with a mean score of 2.6 in the 2015 survey, was 'Changes to APRA's prudential framework considers the costs of regulation imposed on industry'.
The item 'D2A [Direct to APRA] is easy to use when lodging data with APRA' received a mean score of 3.3, down from 3.6 in 2013.
Australian Survey Research concluded that the survey results have remained stable over time, indicating an "overall positive reaction to APRA's mission and method of operation".
"Survey results have remained stable over time ... [with] the exception of costs of regulatory compliance, which has received lower ratings over time, and data provision, for which ratings have declined in the 2015 survey," the report said.
"Cost of compliance continued to receive by far the lowest score across regulated institutions and the view was reiterated by knowledgeable observers.
"Knowledgeable observers had very similar views to regulated institutions on most comparable areas, but continued to have more negative views about APRA staff than institutions.
"Overall there appears to be a greater acceptance of the regulatory framework and APRA’s activities, except from smaller institutions and mutuals, countered by universally low ratings for the cost of compliance."