Chalmers pushes planning scheme amid torrent of new banking rules

"We will introduce a network of financial sector regulatory initiatives to ensure that standard regulation is carried out in a more coordinated and coherent way," Chalmers said at the Summit.

“The network will provide transparency around the regulatory landscape for the financial sector, providing greater certainty to the industry to support commitment to the proposed reforms and their implementation.”

Banks told Chalmers last year that they were sinking into a mass of uncoordinated regulation. They quantified 1,175 pages of new laws and regulations introduced since 2019, absorbing the recommendations of the Hayne royal commission. Additionally, according to the ABA, 130 different regulatory changes are planned for rail over the next year.

A regulatory network will allow regulators to avoid duplication and at the same time help banks allocate resources more efficiently, reducing compliance burden and costs, Dr Chalmers said.

National Australia Bank chief executive Ross McEwan said better coordination of regulatory reform programs was welcome and banks would work with the government "to ensure regulation is right for customers and good for the growth of our business." economy".

COBA CEO Michael Lawrence said smaller banks are interested in the network offering productivity, transparency and accountability benefits. “But perhaps the key aspect is behavioral change. We hope the network will lead to a change in mindset that considers the impact of regulation on the industry in a more holistic way,” he stated.

The UK has published its table twice a year since 2020, setting out a two-year outlook for reforms. Banks want Australia's regulators to determine which rules should take priority, such as those that translate into productivity gains for the economy.

Peter Costello, former federal treasurer and chairman of Nine, publisher of The Australian Financial Review, said that improving regulation could help increase productivity. “The difficult thing for a country or an economy is structural policy. That is why the last one always arrives,” she said at the Summit.

Lawrence said he hopes the network-driven conversations will result in different parts of government considering regulatory goals and outcomes more collectively, and "we would like to see the network provide end-to-end transparency, from the planned moment of consult in all cases." the manner of issuing any guidance or standards before the final implementation date.”

Anna Bligh, chief executive of the ABA, said the initiative would support competition by giving mid-tier banks more visibility into regulatory changes, reduce compliance costs and increase investment. "Better regulatory coordination will provide more certainty for banks and ensure the sector continues to deliver results for customers and the economy," she said.

Ms Bligh raised the idea of ​​the regulatory network during a parliamentary committee hearing in Canberra on August 31, and in a previous Interview with Financial review in June.

The new laws that banks are dealing with include the Financial Responsibility Regime, which starts at the end of this week; the Last Resort Compensation Regime; and Consumer Data Rights. The Treasury is also proposing new rules for payments, digital platforms and climate-related disclosures. as the Attorney General's Department reviews the Privacy Act.

Meanwhile, the RBA exploring central bank digital currency and changes in retail payments; the ACCC has carried out an investigation into retail deposits; ASIC targets financial difficulties; and APRA continues to raise demands around operational risk, macroprudential policy, data transformation and stress testing.

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