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APRA proposes banking data transparency

A new proposal made by APRA could see the financial data of banking institutions made publicly available, to an extent that greatly exceeds current data publication practices.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has proposed to "substantially increase" the volume and breadth of data that is made available to the public on authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs), including banks, credit unions and building societies, as part of its goal of "increasing accountability, supporting competition and lifting overall industry standards".

In a letter to the industry, APRA announced its intention to determine that any data collected by the regulator for its quarterly ADI statistics reports is "non-confidential", and therefore enable it to be published and publicly available.

The new proposal would see data released that greatly exceeds what is available today.

APRA currently publishes less than 1 per cent of the ADI data it collects, due to legal restrictions contained within the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Act 1998. 

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This proposed change would allow APRA to significantly increase this figure.

From 2020 onwards, APRA proposes to make the following information available to the public:

  • entity-level ADI data related to currently published industry-level quarterly data;
  • remaining historical data in these forms that individual ADIs are required to provide APRA, which will be published with a three-year lag; and
  • commentary received by APRA from individual ADIs explaining material revisions to, or large movements in, their data.

According to APRA, this proposal is in support of its strategic policy to increase the transparency of the data it collects, while also aligning with government open data policies.

Under APRA legislation, the regulatory body must consult ADIs and industry associations prior to making any new data non-confidential.

As such, a 12-week consultation is now underway and will conclude on 28 February 2020.

Any interested parties may make submissions on issues surrounding the new proposal, including what, if any, data institutions believe should remain confidential.

Sean Carmody, APRA’s executive director for cross-industry insights and data, said that APRA is committed to their goal of increasing transparency about banks and financial institutions.

“Under these proposed changes, APRA intends to publish – for the first time – a range of information about individual ADIs, including their financial performance and property exposures,” Mr Carmody said.

“As with the recent inclusion of data from credit unions and building societies in our Monthly ADI Statistics publication, these changes are aimed at further strengthening the ADI sector by enhancing accountability and encouraging competition. 

“They will also assist other regulatory agencies that rely on APRA data, as well as analysts, policymakers and others who use our publications.”

[Related: Macquarie embeds CCR, revamps home lending process]

APRA proposes banking data transparency
mortgagebusiness

Hannah Dowling

Hannah Dowling is a journalist for mortgage business, the leading source of news, opinion and strategy for professionals working in the mortgage industry.

Prior to joining the team at Mortgage Business, Hannah worked as a content producer for a podcast catering to property investors. She also spent 6 years working in the real estate sector at a local agency. 

Hannah graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Media and Journalism. 

You can email Hannah at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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