Reserve Bank of Australia Annual Report
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Part 1: About the Reserve Bank
In its role as Australia's central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia determines
and implements monetary policy, undertakes a range of other activities
in financial markets and banking, issues the nation's banknotes and
operates infrastructure critical to the payments system.
The Reserve Bank's activities are overseen by the Reserve Bank Board and the
Payments System Board as well as several high-level committees. The Reserve
Bank Board is responsible for monetary policy and other policy matters,
except those relating to the payments system, which are the responsibility
of the Payments System Board.
The Reserve Bank Board comprises nine members: the Governor (Chair), Deputy Governor
(Deputy Chair), Secretary to the Treasury (ex officio member) and six
other non-executive members appointed by the Treasurer. Further to the
legislated requirements, and in recognition of their responsibility to
uphold the integrity of the Board and the Reserve Bank, members have adopted
a Code of Conduct.
The Reserve Bank is an independent central bank, accountable to the Australian Parliament
for its actions. The Bank is required by legislation to consult with,
and report to, the Australian Government. It seeks to enhance the community's
understanding of its responsibilities and policies through a broad communications
The Reserve Bank has the following operational structure: Banking and Payments Group;
Corporate Services Group; Currency Group; Economic Group; Financial Markets
Group; Financial System Group; and five complementary departments.
Part 2: Our Operations in 2014/15
The Reserve Bank transacts in domestic and international financial markets in order
to meet the Bank's policy objectives. These transactions include implementing
the monetary policy decisions of the Reserve Bank Board, facilitating
smooth functioning of the payments system, managing the nation's foreign
reserve assets, providing banking services to clients (mainly the Australian
Government and its agencies and foreign central banks) and issuing banknotes.
The Reserve Bank provides a range of banking, registry and payment settlement services
to participants in the Australian financial system, the Australian Government
and various international entities. The Bank works closely with its government
and agency clients to ensure that they can access services consistent
with both their needs and those of the public.
The Reserve Bank is responsible for producing and issuing Australia's banknotes.
It seeks to ensure that there are sufficient high-quality banknotes in
circulation to meet public demand. It also conducts research and development
to help Australian banknotes remain secure against counterfeiting.
The Reserve Bank participates actively in initiatives that seek to address the challenges
facing the global economy and improve the global financial architecture.
It does so through its membership of global and regional forums and its
close bilateral relationships with other central banks.
The Reserve Bank seeks to keep the general public fully informed about its activities.
In addition to its Head Office in Sydney, the Bank has offices in Adelaide,
Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, which play an important role in the Bank's
business liaison program and communication with the public. The Bank also
maintains its Museum of Australian Currency Notes and consults with its
Small Business Finance Advisory Panel. In addition, the Bank sponsors
Australian and international economic research in areas of macroeconomics,
econometrics and finance and has a corporate philanthropy program.
Part 3: Management and Accountability
The total number of Reserve Bank employees increased by 4 per cent during 2014/15.
More than 80 per cent of the people who joined the Bank during the year
were recruited on a limited-duration basis, largely to handle project
work. The Bank continues to attract diverse and talented new employees
through its graduate and cadetship programs.
The major consideration affecting the Reserve Bank's costs in 2014/15 was the
ongoing work on the program of major strategic projects initiated in recent
years. Apart from this, operating costs were well contained in the past
The Reserve Bank seeks to carefully manage all the risks related to its role and
responsibilities. The Risk Management Committee oversees the Bank's
risk management processes and framework.
The Reserve Bank's balance sheet fluctuates in size according to operations in
financial markets conducted to pursue monetary policy and other objectives,
including supporting an efficient and orderly payments system in Australia.
The Bank earns a profit in most years. It holds reserves that are sufficient
to cover potential financial losses. In 2014/15, the Bank recorded a net
profit of around $6.9 billion, with earnings available for distribution
of about $3.5 billion.
The Pro Forma Business Accounts for the Reserve Bank's contestable business have
been prepared in accordance with competitive neutrality guidelines. They
do not form part of the audited financial statements.
The Reserve Bank has a number of statutory reporting requirements that extend beyond
its policy objectives. These include: reporting to the Parliament each
year on its equity and diversity program; reporting to the Safety, Rehabilitation
and Compensation Commission on work health and safety and related matters;
and publishing Freedom of Information material on the Bank's website.
Part 4: Financial Statements
Part 5: Indexes
ISSN 1448–5303 (Print)
ISSN 1448–5192 (Online)