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Banks condemn 7-day BEAR consultation

The Australian Bankers’ Association has taken the government to task for its seven-day consultation period on the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR).

Treasurer Scott Morrison released the legislation enabling APRA's new Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) for public consultation on Friday afternoon, 22 September.

In his announcement, Mr Morrison said that interested parties will have until Friday, 29 September, to make a submission to Treasury on the proposed legislation.

BEAR would give APRA the power to defer up to 40 per cent of a bank CEO's total remuneration, veto executive appointments to banks and issue substantial fines.

Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) chief executive Anna Bligh labelled the week-long consultation period as "grossly inadequate" and as "playing fast and loose with a critical sector of the economy".

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Ms Bligh said: "The industry recognises that improving senior executive accountability is crucial for customers to have trust in banks. Banks want to work with the federal government to get this right, but just seven days to consult is not good enough.

"This is a significant piece of reform that impacts on the integrity of banks and the stability of the financial system and it needs thorough scrutiny.

"It’s an entirely new addition to the system of corporate governance in Australia. The government’s time frame risks serious unintended consequences.

"The ABA urges the government to extend the consultation period and do the proper due diligence to ensure that the objective of improving senior executive accountability is met."

[Related: BEAR is 'absolutely the right thing to do']

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