The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has been ramping up its enforcement approach and this week publicised updates to its enforcement approach around reporting.
Back in April, the regulator published their enforcement. At the time, Chairman Wayne Byres highlighted four key areas of focus:
adopting a “constructively tough” appetite to enforcement and setting it out in a board-endorsed enforcement strategy document;
ensuring APRA supervisors are supported and empowered to hold institutions and individuals to account, and strengthening governance of enforcement-related decisions;
combining APRA’s enforcement, investigation and legal experts in one strengthened support team, and ensuring resources are available to support the pursuit of enforcement action where appropriate; and
strengthening cooperation on enforcement matters with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Byres said APRA’s focus on financial risks has helped to maintain the stability of the Australian economy but noted the regulator needed to evolve to tackle non-financial risks more effectively.
Early last month, APRA pulled Westpac up ‘by the suspenders’ for failing to meet to their reporting obligations. In relation to this enforcement action, APRA Deputy Chair John Lonsdale said that enforcement action is a reminder that reporting standards ae legally binding.
“Consequently, we have also updated the Enforcement Approach to include guidance on how we will use enforcement action to ensure the data we collect remains fit for purpose,” Lonsdale added.
In their official release this week, Lonsdale said the update to the regulator’s enforcement priorities for reporting by regulated entities is meant to clarify their obligations.
The focus of the enforcement priorities relates to data reporting:
Proportionality of the entity’s data to the collection
Enforcement Priorities related to data submissions
“Getting ‘constructively tough’ is not only about taking stronger action earlier where banks, insurers and super licensees break the law, or fail to behave in an open and cooperative manner with us. It also means setting public examples where it is appropriate to do so and there’s no risk to financial stability,” Lonsdale explained.