Media Release Council of Financial Regulators Annual Report – 1998

The Chairman of the Council of Financial Regulators, Reserve Bank Governor Ian Macfarlane, today released the Council's 1998 Annual Report. The Report outlines the work of the Council in providing a high-level forum for co-operation and collaboration among Australia's main financial regulatory agencies.

The Council was established in 1998 as the successor to the Council of Financial Supervisors. It forms part of wide-ranging changes to Australia's financial regulatory structure in 1998, prompted by the recommendations of the Financial System Inquiry. These changes include the establishment of a single prudential regulator – the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA); the establishment of a separate regulator to deal with market integrity and consumer protection issues across the financial system – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); and revised responsibilities for the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), involving its withdrawal from prudential supervision of banks but more extensive regulatory powers in the payments system. These three authorities form the membership of the new Council. Until its responsibilities transfer to APRA, the Australian Financial Institutions Commission (AFIC) also participates in the Council.

“Australia's new financial arrangements are being implemented at a time when crises in emerging markets have threatened global financial and economic stability, leading to a raft of proposals for improving domestic regulatory structures and international regulatory co-operation. Council members are working individually and together to ensure that the new arrangements will promote confidence in the Australian financial system,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Apart from assisting the bedding-down of Australia's new financial arrangements and monitoring international regulatory developments, a major focus for the Council in 1998 has been the Year 2000 issue. The Council has been keen to encourage disclosure of Year 2000 preparations in the Australian financial sector and to co-ordinate the Year 2000 activities and international commitments of its members. The Council has also taken up with the Government the question of uniform public holidays over the Year 2000 date change.”

The Council of Financial Regulators brings together the heads of Australia's main financial regulatory authorities – namely Mr Ian Macfarlane (Governor) and Dr John Laker (Assistant Governor) of the RBA; Mr Graeme Thompson (Chief Executive Officer) and Mr Graham Johnson (Chief Manager), APRA; Mr Alan Cameron (Chairman) and Mr Shane Tregillis (National Director), ASIC; and Mr Michael Moreland (Executive Director), AFIC. The Federal Treasurer has Ministerial responsibility for the Council.


Council of Financial Regulators
28 April 1999

Copies of the Report can be found on each member's internet sites or by phoning:

Reserve Bank of Australia
(02) 9551 9721

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
(02) 9210 3000

Australian Securities and Investments Commission
(02) 9911 2600

Australian Financial Institutions Commission
(07) 3842 2742