Westpac fined over reporting failure

APRA has handed Westpac the maximum financial penalty it can for failing to meet reporting obligations.

Westpac and its subsidiaries St George Finance Holdings and Capital Finance Australia will pay more than $1.5 million after breaching requirements of the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 (FSCODA) by failing to report data to APRA.

APRA said Westpac was 20 days late filing its reports for the month ending 31 March 2019. St George and Capital Finance missed the same deadline by up to 37 days.

Additionally, all three entities were between nine and 28 days late filing quarterly reports with APRA too.

Those reports were due on 10 May 2019. APRA sent show cause notice to the entities on 22 July, indicating its intention to serve infringement notices and seeking responses.

After assessing Westpac's responses, APRA decided to issue the infringement notices anyway.

APRA deputy chair John Lonsdale said: "Access to accurate and timely data is critical for APRA to monitor effectively the safety and stability of the banking, insurance and superannuation sectors."

He re-enforced that APRA's reporting standards are legally binding in the same way as its prudential standards.

"By issuing these infringement notices, APRA wants to send a strong message to industry that compliance with our reporting standards is mandatory, and cannot be considered secondary to other business priorities," Lonsdale said.

Westpac, St George and Capital Finance have until 6 September to pay the fines.

The $1,501,500 figure is the maximum financial penalty APRA can issue for infringement notices under FSCODA.

Read more: APRAWestpacFSCODACapital Finance AustraliaFinancial Sector Collection of Data ActJohn LonsdaleSt George Finance Holdings
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