APRA probes bank, insurer virus plans

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 26 : 28-Feb-20

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has not updated its guidelines on pandemics since 2013, but the coronavirus outbreak has prompted it to activate Prudential Practice Guide CPG 233 – Pandemic Planning. APRA has asked financial institutions such as banks, insurers and superannuation funds to demonstrate that they are sufficiently prepared for a global pandemic. Westpac has responded to the outbreak by imposing a ban on employees travelling to China for business purposes, while AMP is requiring some employees in coronavirus epicentres to work from home.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

Bank concerns don’t apply to us: super funds

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 6-Feb-20

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia has questioned the need to expand the Banking Executive Accountability Regime to include super funds and insurers. ASFA CEO Martin Fahy describes the proposal as an ‘overkill’, and he argues that the super industry is already subject to tough regulation. He adds that the proposal will discourage product innovation and affect funds’ returns. Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh has expressed support for extending the regime beyond the bank sector.

CORPORATES
THE ASSOCIATION OF SUPERANNUATION FUNDS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Banks face stress test on climate

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 20-Dec-19

Australian financial services providers may be required to disclose their exposure to climate risks in their financial statements. It is amongst reforms that are likely to be implemented by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Reserve Bank of Australia, which include subjecting banks and insurance companies to stress-testing with regard to climate change-related risks. The reforms have been proposed by the Network of Central Banks & Supervisors for Greening the Financial System. The RBA has been a member of it since 2018, while APRA has observer status.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, NETWORK OF CENTRAL BANKS AND SUPERVISORS FOR GREENING THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Strict best interest duty needed: Harris

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 10-Oct-19

Former Productivity Commission chairman Peter Harris has stressed the need for a strong ‘best interest duty’ that applies equally across the banking, mortgage broking, financial advice and superannuation industry. He is concerned that industry lobbying could result in a proposed best interest duty for mortgage brokers being watered down. Harris has also downplayed the need for a mortgage pricing inquiry, arguing that the federal government’s priority should be to implement the recommendations made by the commission in its 2018 report on competition in the financial services sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FINANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX AFG

Wary APRA orders more stress-tests for banks

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 30-Aug-19

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority currently undertakes "stress-testing" of the nation’s banks every three years. However, growing concern about the outlook for the domestic and global economies is believed to have prompted APRA to conduct annual stress tests. APRA’s latest corporate also shows that the performance of superannuation funds will also be a focus for the prudential regulator over the next few years; this will include ranking super funds based on a range of metrics.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Top lawyers warn ASIC against hasty moves

Original article by Hannah Wootton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 33 : 23-Aug-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg recently indicated that the federal government aims to pass 40 pieces of legislation in response to the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations by the end of 2020. It wants 90 per cent of relevant legislation to be implemented by mid-2020. However, corporate lawyers have stated that problems could arise if the government and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission persist with their "ambitious deadlines" for implementing the commission’s recommendations.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

ASIC to sue big banks in weeks

Original article by John Durie
The Australian – Page: 17 : 19-Aug-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s deputy chairman Daniel Crennan says it will shortly commence legal action against the four major banks, plus AMP and Macquarie Group. He adds that ASIC is still working on 13 matters that were referred to it by the Hayne royal commission, as well as a further 39 matters that were examined by the inquiry. Meanwhile, ASIC’s latest enforcement update shows that it accepted just one court-enforceable undertaking in the first half of 2019, compared with nine in the second half of 2018. ASIC’s reluctance to pursue litigation came under scrutiny by royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Dragging the chain on Hayne

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 18-Jul-19

The Coalition began implementing some of the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations prior to the federal election. However, the government has warned that the bulk of the recommendations are unlikely to be implemented before the end of 2019, although Treasury has begun the consultation process and is drafting legislative reforms. Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says the government’s lack of action on Kenneth Hayne’s recommendations will reinforce the view that the Coalition tends to "go soft" on misconduct in the banking sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

APRA ordered to toughen up

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 17-Jul-19

A report has concluded that an overhaul of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s internal culture and regulatory approach is needed. Former Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel headed the capability review, which was undertaken in the wake of the Hayne royal commission. APRA and the federal government have accepted all of the review’s recommendations, which include increased oversight of banks and superannuation funds.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

Lending laws no problem, ASIC insists

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 18 : 8-Jul-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has been blamed in some areas for falling house prices and a decline in credit growth, due to a perception that it is taking a tougher approach to responsible lending. However, ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes notes that responsible lending laws have not changed since 2010, nor has its guidance in this area. ASIC advised in February that it will release an updated guidance note on responsible lending by September.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC