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Tuesday, 28 August 2001
Page: 30406

Mr HOCKEY (Minister for Financial Services and Regulation) (5:17 PM) —I move:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Financial Sector (Collection of Data— Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2001 gives effect to the consequential amendments to the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Bill 2001, which was passed recently in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The proposed regulatory measures in the bills are designed to streamline and simplify a number of data collection methods and systems. The bills aim to modernise and increase the relevance of data collections, thereby ensuring that APRA collects the data it requires for prudential regulation. The data APRA collects will also continue to be used in the formulation of monetary policy by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Industry and analysts will be better able to examine industry data collected by APRA and to selectively use the data as a basis for comparison with other institutions or sectors in the financial system more broadly. Financial institutions will initially face some modest transitional costs as a result of having to provide the data to APRA in a different form. However, in the long term the benefit in cost savings for financial institutions will be substantially greater than the initial costs incurred. There is a technical government amendment which simply corrects a minor technical oversight in the original drafting and does not reflect a change in policy. The amendment clarifies the power to revoke directions. I will say a few words about another matter after we have heard a response from the opposition.