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Legislative underpinnings

Under the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Act 1998 (the APRA Act), APRA’s main purposes are to regulate the banking, insurance and superannuation institutions under five ‘industry Acts’ and to administer the FCS for depositors and insurance policyholders.1

The industry Acts provide for licensing and regulatory oversight of:

  • authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs, including banks, credit unions and building societies);
  • general insurers;
  • life companies and friendly societies;
  • private health insurers; and
  • registrable superannuation entity (RSE) licensees.

APRA also has responsibilities under other Acts, including:

  • data collection from regulated and non-regulated entities under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 (FSCOD Act); and
  • transfers of ownership under the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act 1998.

The APRA Act requires that, in performing and exercising its functions and powers, APRA must “balance the objectives of financial safety and efficiency, competition, contestability and competitive neutrality and, in balancing these objectives, is to promote financial system stability in Australia”.2


  1. The industry Acts are Banking Act 1959, Insurance Act 1973, Life Insurance Act 1995, Private Health Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2015 and Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.
  2. Section 8, APRA Act.