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Domestic and international liaison and collaboration

Domestic liaison and cooperation

Consistent with the recognition of external engagement and collaboration as a key strategic priority within its Corporate Plan, over the past year APRA has expanded and deepened its engagement with a range of public and private stakeholders. This engagement has helped enhance the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of APRA’s policy and supervisory activities, as well as helping to inform APRA’s understanding and approach to new and emerging risks in the financial system, such as cyber security and climate change and, more recently, the impacts of COVID-19.

Throughout the year, APRA maintained strong working relationships with Australia’s key financial agencies, including other members of the Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) – ASIC, the RBA and the Treasury – as well as the ACCC, AUSTRAC and the ATO. These relationships are important in maintaining a coordinated and integrated approach to overseeing the financial system, particularly in times of financial distress and economic uncertainty.

These engagements are typically guided by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which, although not legally binding, signifies a commitment to cooperate and share relevant information, and establishes the practical arrangements by which this will occur. Many of these MoUs are available on APRA’s website.

Current MoUs with domestic agencies

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Australian Capital Territory Compulsory Third-Party Insurance Regulator
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  • Australian Crime Commission
  • Australian Federal Police
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre
  • Council of Financial Regulators
  • Department of Health
  • Motor Accidents Authority of NSW
  • Motor Accident Insurance Commission of Queensland
  • NSW Fair Trading
  • Reserve Bank of Australia
  • South Australia Compulsory Third-Party Insurance Regulator
  • The Treasury
  • WorkCover Tasmania

Stakeholder engagement

APRA engages with a variety of stakeholders including regulated institutions, industry bodies, government departments, other regulatory agencies, media and the general public. APRA uses a diverse range of channels to communicate various policy, statistical and other announcements with stakeholder groups, as shown in the table below.


Over the past year, APRA has instituted new approaches to policy consultations – such as webinars, workshops and targeted discussions with industry representatives – designed to improve the quality of feedback APRA receives.

2018/19

2019/20

Policy consultations conducted

31

21

Information letters issued to industry

14

37

Presentations at formal speaking engagements1

80

58

Media releases issued

93

79

Parliamentary hearings attended

14

9

Submission to formal inquiries

11

1

1 The decline in 2019/20 is primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent change in the external operating environment in 2020.

International activities

APRA’s coordination with foreign supervisors and engagement with global standard-setting bodies has increased over the past year, consistent with its strategy and as a result of COVID-19. The primary international activities undertaken by APRA take two main forms:

  • liaison with overseas home and host supervisory agencies on developing risks and the activities of internationally active firms, including through participation in supervisory colleges; and
  • participation in global standard-setting bodies to ensure relevant characteristics of the Australian financial system are taken into account in how international standards evolve, and to share information.

APRA has formal bilateral information sharing arrangements with 34 overseas regulatory agencies through MoUs and letters of exchange. APRA is one of 73 signatories to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) multilateral MoU. APRA also participates in institution-specific multilateral arrangements to support the sharing of confidential information in supervisory colleges involving internationally active financial institutions, including those headquartered in Australia.

APRA’s engagement with international agencies and standard-setting bodies is summarised in the lists below.

International organisations that APRA was a member of or participated in during 2019/20

  • Asian Forum of Insurance Regulators
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision
  • Executives’ Meeting of East Asia-Pacific Central Banks (Working Group on Banking Supervision)
  • Financial Stability Board
  • International Association of Deposit Insurers
  • International Association of Insurance Supervisors
  • International Credit Union Regulators Network
  • International Forum of Insurance Guarantee Schemes
  • International Organisation of Pension Supervisors
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Working Party on Private Pensions)
  • Sustainable Insurance Forum
  • Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision

International organisations with which APRA engaged in 2019/20

  • ASEAN Insurance Training and Research Institute
  • Asian Development Bank
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – Financial Regulators Training Initiative
  • Association of Financial Supervisors of Pacific Countries
  • Financial Action Task Force
  • Financial Stability Institute
  • International Monetary Fund
  • Network for Greening the Financial System
  • Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre
  • South-East Asia, New Zealand and Australia Forum of Banking Supervision
  • South-East Asian Central Banks
  • World Bank

In addition to these activities, APRA receives visits from international delegations for a range of core business and other purposes. Over 2019/20, APRA received visits from 26 international delegations from 13 countries, most commonly from New Zealand and South Korea. Interest was focused on technology and cyber risk, APRA’s supervision frameworks, governance and culture, and policy developments.