APRA tackles emerging risks in 2023-24 Corporate Plan

"Protected today, prepared for tomorrow" still the regulator's aim

APRA tackles emerging risks in 2023-24 Corporate Plan


By Mina Martin

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has outlined the evolution of the APRA’s priorities for the coming four years in its 2023-24 Corporate Plan, in which it tackled the new and developing risks impacting the global financial system.

APRA’s updated approach, which was designed to preserve the soundness and stability of the banking, insurance, and superannuation industries, took into consideration rising interest rates and high inflation, geopolitical instability, the growing threat of cyberattacks and scams, and the increased frequency of natural disasters, among other issues.

Also incorporated into APRA’s updated approach were the lessons learned from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the takeover of Credit Suisse in March this year, as well as the findings of the Financial Regulator Assessment Authority on APRA’s approach to supervising the superannuation industry.

“Two years after APRA first based its Corporate Plan around the twin themes of ‘protected today’ and ‘prepared for tomorrow,’ that philosophy still underpins our work,” APRA chair John Lonsdale (pictured above) said.

“The actions we take and areas we focus on, however, cannot remain static. As new risks emerge or accelerate, increasingly driven by technological innovation, our agenda continues to evolve in response to the changing operating environment.”

APRA’s key priority areas over the plan’s horizon are as follow: 

  • addressing system-wide risks by enhancing cross-industry stress-testing, and ensuring macroprudential policy settings remain appropriate for the operating environment
  • a heightened focus on operational resilience, including cyber resilience, crisis management, and operational risk management, to maintain the continuity of critical financial services 
  • climate-related financial risks, including a Climate Vulnerability Assessment for general insurers and embedding climate risk in APRA’s approach to supervision
  • improving superannuation transparency to provide members with enhanced insights about investment performance and increasing APRA’s focus on retirement outcomes

APRA said it will also advance its plans to modernise prudential architecture, transform its use of technology and data to enhance industry supervision and improve transparency, and further cultivate an agile, engaged workforce that can respond to new and emerging issues.

“As the global health and economic challenges of the past few years have demonstrated, threats to financial stability can emerge quickly and in ways we’ve not previously seen,” Lonsdale said. 

“By closely monitoring the external environment and adjusting our supervision approach accordingly, APRA aims to ensure Australia’s financial institutions are prepared to withstand severe shocks and remain a source of strength for the community.”

The 2023/24 Corporate Plan is available on the APRA website.

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