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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6199

Mr SUKKAR (DeakinAssistant Minister to the Treasurer) (16:56): We welcome the opposition's very strong support for the Treasury Laws Amendment (APRA Governance) Bill 2018. This bill bolsters the effectiveness of APRA by allowing up to two deputy chairs to be appointed. APRA is Australia's prudential regulator, overseeing banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance, reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurance, friendly societies and most of the superannuation industry. It's an independent Commonwealth government body set up under its own act. Currently APRA is headed by an executive group consisting of between three and five members. At present one member must be appointed chair and another may be appointed deputy chair. Amending the APRA Act to permit up to two deputy chairs will assist APRA in operating as an effective and efficient regulator.

This legislation recognises that it's important that the enabling legislation for APRA allows it to be supported as needed to continue its focus on improving culture and risk management within financial institutions. It builds on the government's recent reforms to the banking sector to improve the accountability of bank executives and other reforms that support the entry of new banks and increase competition in the sector. The amendment bill will provide greater flexibility in the way in which APRA can be governed by its members. In doing so, it can enable more oversight of the banking sector, as well as allowing the chair to have a greater oversight of the entire system and of APRA's overall performance. Therefore, I commend this bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.