Australian Financial Regulation
Responsibility for the regulation and supervision of the Australian financial system is vested in four separate agencies:
1. Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
2. Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
3. Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)
4. Australian Treasury.
These four bodies comprise the Council of Financial Regulators (CFR).
Further information about the first two of these bodies is set out below.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
APRA oversees Australian banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurance, friendly societies and most members of the superannuation industry.
APRA is funded largely by the industries that it supervises.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
ASIC is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.
It contributes to Australia’s economic reputation and wellbeing by ensuring that Australia’s financial markets are fair and transparent, supported by confident and informed investors and consumers.
It is an independent Australian Commonwealth government body, set up under and administered by, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act), and carries out most of its work under the Australian Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act).
The ASIC Act requires ASIC to:
- maintain, facilitate and improve the performance of the financial system and entities in it
- promote confident and informed participation by investors and consumers in the financial system
- administer the law effectively and with minimal procedural requirements
- enforce and give effect to the law
- receive, process and store, efficiently and quickly, information that is given to it
- make information about companies and other bodies available to the public as soon as practicable.
Note: The Australian Financial Markets Association (AFMA) is an industry body not a regulatory body.