APRA Updates Four-Year Corporate Plan to Prioritise Covid Risks

APRA will prioritise the safety and soundness of regulated institutions, operational resilience and contingency planning for adverse events.

APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) has published its 2020-2024 corporate plan, updating the strategic objectives and priorities set out in its previous four-year plan to account for the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As a result [of Covid-19], APRA swiftly reviewed its priorities and pivoted to respond to the immediate threats and vulnerabilities faced by the Australian financial system and the broader community,” the regulator said.

The new corporate plan continues to be founded on the longer term objectives of maintaining financial sector resilience; improving outcomes for superannuation members; transforming governance, culture, remuneration and accountability across all regulated institutions; and improving cyber resilience across the financial system.

However, in light of the emergence of Covid-19 and subsequent uncertainty in the external environment, the new corporate plan includes a commitment to maximising APRA’s ability to actively respond to the pandemic and its near-term impacts on the industries and financial institutions.

Over the next 12-18 months, APRA’s priority will be to protect the safety and soundness of  regulated institutions, foster operational resilience during a period of significant disruption, and enhance contingency plans for adverse events.

The previous corporate plan also identified areas where APRA needed to lift its internal capabilities. These include enhancements to APRA’s risk-based supervision, resolution capacity, external engagement and collaboration, data-driven decision-making, and leadership and culture.

These priority areas will remain in the new plan, but greater short-term prominence will be allocated to improving resolution capability and transforming leadership, culture and ways of working, APRA said.

“APRA has been flexible and responsive to the rapidly changing environment,” said APRA chair Wayne Byres. “It has meant that many aspects of last year’s plan have had to be adjusted to ensure APRA is able to dedicate increased resources towards the critical objective of maintaining the resilience of the financial system, in order to maintain public confidence and support the recovery process.”

“Given the highly uncertain environment, APRA will continue to monitor the risks and potential vulnerabilities in the financial system, and adjust its plans accordingly.”

The corporate plan is available here.

Additional reporting from InvestorDaily.

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