Media Release Statement by the Governor, Mr Ian Macfarlane:
Senior Staff Movements

The Treasurer has announced that the Government intends to appoint Mr G.J. Thompson, one of the Deputy Governors of the Bank, as Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) when that agency is formed later in 1998.

Mr Macfarlane said: “The Bank welcomes this decision which will contribute to the establishment of effective co-ordination arrangements between APRA and the Bank. Such arrangements will be a key element in Australia's new system of financial regulation.”

While he will be devoting most of his time to planning for APRA over coming months, Mr Thompson will continue as Deputy Governor and a member of the Reserve Bank Board, as well as Chairman of Note Printing Australia.

Mr Macfarlane also announced today that Mr L.J. Austin, currently Assistant Governor (Financial Institutions), and Dr J.F. Laker, currently Assistant Governor (Corporate Services), will be exchanging responsibilities. This change is to be effective from 23 March.

Dr Laker, as Assistant Governor (Financial Institutions), will be responsible for the Bank's role in payments system policy and regulation, which is set to expand as a result of Government decisions following the Financial System Inquiry, as well as overseeing the Bank's broader role to protect financial system stability. Both tasks will involve close liaison with APRA.

As Assistant Governor (Corporate Services), Mr Austin will be responsible for the Bank's computing services, financial administration, facilities management and other internal support services. He will chair the Bank's Year 2000 Steering Committee. He will also continue as Chairman of the Australian Payments System Council until its activities pass to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission later in the year.

Brief career information on Dr Laker and Mr Austin is attached.


Manager, Media Office
Reserve Bank of Australia
Telephone: (02) 9551 9720


John Laker
Dr Laker worked in the Commonwealth Treasury and International Monetary Fund before joining the Reserve Bank in 1982. He has held senior positions in the economic, bank supervision and international areas. Immediately prior to being appointed Assistant Governor (Corporate Services) in 1994, he was the Bank's London-based Chief Representative in Europe.

Les Austin
Mr Austin joined the Reserve Bank in 1962 and has occupied senior positions in the economic area and the financial institutions and markets groups. He was appointed Head of Bank Supervision in 1991 and Assistant Governor (Financial Institutions) in 1993.