APRA chairman blames Australian finance sector’s trust crisis on failure to self-regulate

Wayne Byres is the chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and has just urged the country’s financial services leaders to step up and take responsibility for their actions.

Speaking at the 2019 Banking and Finance Oath Conference in Sidney, the head of the independent statutory authority blamed the industry’s new regulational pressure on a lack of self-regulation.

The statement came as the regulator is set to roll out the recommendations suggested by the Australian Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. The commission concluded in February 2019 after finding systemic bad behaviours across the sector. This included failing of mortgage brokers to act in the best interest of clients, ignoring money laundering for criminal organizations and misconduct.

Byres stated that while it was easy to blame the commission’s recommendations was a consequence of a failure of formal regulations, the industry’s lack of self-regulation also played a key role. Indeed, he believed the need for formal regulations would be minimized if the financial sector took responsibility for its actions.

“Undoubtedly, this additional regulation comes at a cost, and industry complaints about regulatory burden are increasingly being heard again,” Byres said. “Thus far, however, not much has been offered as an alternative means of generating better outcomes.”

He called for the creation of industry codes of practice and stronger frameworks to boost accountability within companies. Byres added he would like to see bigger commitment from individuals to “seek to operate with ethical restraint.”

RegTech Analyst recently reported that RegTech players could have a key role to play in solving tthe financial trust crisis. For instance, innovators in the field could help create solutions to make it easier to comply with regulations.

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