APRA points to legislative change for super

A former Westpac senior executive turned academic and a former acting governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand have joined former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chair, Graeme Samuel in making up the expert panel to undertake the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) capability review.

The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg announced that Diane Smith-Gander, a former Westpac executive and current adjunct professor in corporate governance at the University of Western Australia, alongside Grant Spencer, a former acting governor at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, would, with Samuel, make up the review panel.

In doing so, Frydenberg made clear that the panel would give specific consideration to APRA’s capability to promote financial stability and respond to issues raised by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry and the Productivity Commission.

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“This includes APRA’s capability to regulate superannuation entities for the benefit of members, the role of enforcement activities and coercive powers and the supervision of culture, governance and remuneration in regulated institutions,” the Treasurer said.

He said the panel would begin its work in March and report to the Government by 30 June, this year.

Frydenberg’s announcement came at the same time as APRA updated its plans in relation to specific recommendations from the Royal Commission including with respect to the superannuation industry.

However, it pointed that its recommendations relating to a strengthening of trustee duties in superannuation and additional penalties in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act would require legislative change.

“APRA stands ready to work with Treasury, ASIC and other stakeholders to ensure these matters can be progressed as quickly as possible,” the regulator said.

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