Samuel snaps at defiant banks and APRA

Ian Rogers Finance regulation
Ex ACCC chief and serial banking club critic, Graeme Samuel
Ex ACCC chief and serial banking club critic, Graeme Samuel

Hidden industry self-assessments must be published pronto and APRA must lean hard on banks to ensure that they are, scrutineer Graeme Samuel told a parliamentary hearing yesterday.

Recalcitrant banks – including ANZ and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Macquarie Group – need a "reality check", Samuel told the Standing Committee on Economics at a hearing in Canberra yesterday.

More than 30 financiers, insurers and superannuation funds supplied these self-managed inquiries into their culture, governance and accountability 10 months ago and only a handful are in the public domain, including those from Westpac, NAB and Australian Super.

Chair of the recent Capability Review into APRA, Samuel did not waste his time before the House of Representatives’ committee.

He chastised ANZ and its chair, David Gonski, over a lame, 200 word summary of the self-assessment published on the bank’s Bluenotes portal three weeks ago. It was a piece labelled "rather strange" by Samuel.

Samuel doubled-down on his theme before MPs: “These self-assessments really ought to be made public,” he said, implying that APRA must find the mettle to do so if banks and others still keeping them secret won’t release their self-assessments.

Or, as seems likely, will the task fall to either to the House or Senate’s Economics committees?