Industry not impressed with APRA

The latest stakeholder survey shows the Royal Commission continues to hurt the regulator's standing in the financial services community.

APRA's latest biennial stakeholder survey shows industry players are less impressed with the prudential regulator than they were two years ago, before the Royal Commission maelstrom struck.

The survey, conducted by Orima Research, takes into account the positions of 280 regulated entities across the banking, insurance and superannuation industries, and 70 knowledgeable observers, including auditors, actuaries and industry associations.

Despite the 2019 results broadly remaining "consistently strong", the report noted "almost all" changes from the 2017 edition to 2019 were downwards, including regulated entities' perception of the importance of APRA's harmonisation of the prudential framework, which registered its lowest ever recorded level this year.

Perceptions of several dimensions of risk assessment have also declined significantly, however the research claims the results sit within the normal range for these measures observed over multiple surveys. About 81% of respondents believe APRA is effective in identifying risks across their industry.

Regulated entities also seem displeased with the capabilities of APRA's supervisory teams, with "slightly but significantly" lower perceptions recorded in 2019.

Not all is lost for the prudential regulator however, with 86% believing APRA's increased focus on risk culture had made a positive impact on their entity, and the same amount believing APRA's supervision enhances their financial and operational strength.

APRA chair Wayne Byers said the survey was an important tool for the regulator to understand its performance, and areas of improvement, and said regularly publishing the results showed its commitment to transparency and accountability.

"In the wake of both the Royal Commission and the more recent Capability Review, APRA is taking stock of how it can bring into effect a significant number of recommendations about how we must do more in new areas of risk, without compromising APRA's primary focus on financial safety and stability," Byers said.

Read more: APRARoyal CommissionWayne ByersCapability ReviewOrima Research
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