APRA consults its approach to product responsibility under BEAR
ASIC

APRA consults on its proposed approach to product responsibility under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime

July 1, 2019

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has outlined its proposed approach to implementing the Royal Commission recommendation on product responsibility for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR).

Recommendation 1.17 of the final report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry recommended that APRA determine an end-to-end product responsibility for each ADI subject to the BEAR with the aim of improving customer experience and outcomes.

In response, APRA has released a letter to ADIs detailing how it intends to achieve heightened and clarified product accountability among senior executives. Specifically, APRA proposes requiring ADIs to identify and register an accountable person to hold end-to-end product responsibility for each product the ADI offers to its customers, including retail, business and institutional customers.

APRA

The letter requests feedback on four key considerations relating to implementing the proposed product responsibility requirements: the scope of accountability; product coverage; the structure of the legal mechanism; and the application of joint accountability within ADIs and ADI groups.

Although the requirements are directly applied to locally incorporated ADIs, APRA strongly encourages all ADIs to consider elements of strengthened product accountability as they relate to their accountable persons, and accountability statements and map.

Given the Government announcement that the BEAR will be extended to insurers and Registrable Superannuation Entity licensees, all APRA-regulated entities may have an interest in providing feedback on the proposed approach.

An eight week public consultation on the proposed measures is open until 23 August 2019. APRA aims to release a draft schedule with the proposed product responsibility requirements for further consultation in October 2019, and the final legislative instrument in December 2019. APRA expects to implement the new requirements by 1 July 2020.

A copy of the consultation letter can be found on the APRA website here.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is the prudential regulator of the financial services industry. It oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurers, friendly societies, and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA currently supervises institutions holding $6 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.

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