A strong regulatory framework governs financial service operations in Australia. This framework has evolved over time, most recently improved by introduction of the Financial Services Reform Act through changes to the Corporations Act in 2001.
APRA (The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) is the body which licences and regulates financial service businesses. This includes banks, general insurers, life insurers and fund managers who are licensed to operate in the country (particularly in relation to capital adequacy). For insurers, this occurs where the insurer carries on an insurance business in Australia.
ASIC (The Australian Securities and Investments Commission) regulates the distribution activities of financial service businesses. This includes banks, general insurers, life insurers and fund managers, but also intermediaries such as insurance brokers and underwriting agencies.
Although ACCC (The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) regulates competition and consumer protection issues for most businesses in Australia, ASIC is the body responsible for regulating financial services businesses in this regard.
(Information sourced and edited from the Gold Seal, Gold Book.)
Freelance Business Writer