APRA Enforcement Approach updated

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has updated its Enforcement Approach to include principles that APRA will take into account when considering when and how to publicise its enforcement actions, and guidance on APRA’s approach to enforcement for data submissions.  Background.

APRA says it will consider when and how to publicise the enforcement actions it takes on a case by case basis.

However, unless there are likely to be risks to beneficiaries’ interests and / or financial stability from publicising an action, APRA will typically make public:
• administrative enforcement actions taken by APRA, such as formal directions and licence conditions or infringement notices;
• acceptance of an enforceable undertaking received from a regulated entity or an individual;
• disqualifications of accountable persons under the Bank Executive Accountability Regime, or other responsible persons under the prudential framework; and
• court-based enforcement actions commenced by APRA.

For reasons of natural justice, procedural steps in respect of potential enforcement actions, including the issuance of ‘show cause’ notices will generally not be made public by APRA.

The revised document also sets out APRA’s intention to take stronger action against institutions that fail to meet their legal obligations to report data to APRA in full and on time.

Failure to submit data within the timeframes set out in reporting standards made under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 (FSCODA) constitutes an offence. APRA has the power to issue infringement notices that impose fines on entities that do not comply with FSCODA. If an entity elects not to pay, APRA can brief the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to take legal action.

APRA will prioritise action on those matters where the impact of the data is most serious for its user eg prudential and policy purposes.

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