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APRA calls for confidentiality restrictions around banks to be abolished

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is calling for submissions on what should be considered confidential information relating to various banks, credit unions and building societies.

Usually when we think of confidentiality in the finance sector we're used to hearing about the protection of personal data when dealing with institutions like banks however this is the other side of the coin; what information about the institution should be kept confidential from the public.

APRA is proposing policy changes which would see a significant increase in the data that it makes publicly available. In fact the regulator is pushing for 'all data from authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) to be considered non-confidential, and as such publishable.'

This move will 'increase accountability, support competition and lift overall industry standards in a shift towards greater transparency and scrutiny of the banking sector' according to APRA themselves as quoted in a news.com.au article this week.

Sean Carmody, APRA's Executive Director for Cross-Industry Insights and Data said that 'the proposal aligns with the watchdog's strategy of improving data transparency' and it would appear that they aren't taking their time as the three month consultation process will terminate on February 28th with data likely to be published from 2020.

Carmody also said 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,” he said. He added that more data published on the industry will also help other regulatory agencies that rely on APRA data, as well as analysts, policymakers and others who use its publications'.

Further information from APRA here.

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