About the CFR
The Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) is the coordinating body for Australia's main financial regulatory agencies. Its membership comprises the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which chairs the Council; the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA); the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); and The Treasury. The CFR meets in person quarterly or more often if circumstances require it. The meetings are chaired by the RBA Governor, with secretariat support provided by the RBA.
The CFR operates as a high-level forum for cooperation and collaboration among its members. It is non-statutory and has no legal functions or powers separate from those of its individual member agencies. The role of the CFR is to contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of financial regulation and to promote stability of the Australian financial system. This is achieved by the members sharing information and views on financial sector conditions and risks, discussing regulatory reforms and, if the need arises, coordinating responses to potential threats to financial stability.
The CFR has a role in advising the Government on the adequacy of Australia's financial system regulatory arrangements. The CFR also discusses the development and application of various international regulatory reforms in Australia. For example, in recent years, it has considered Australia's position on developments such as: strengthening the capital framework for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs); strengthening liquidity risk management by ADIs; the regulatory framework for financial market infrastructures; resolution frameworks and shadow banking.
Many of the issues discussed by the CFR are reported on in the RBA's semiannual Financial Stability Review, with input from the other CFR member agencies.
In addition to the CFR, there is strong bilateral coordination among the four CFR member agencies. The broad terms of these coordination arrangements are set out in various bilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) signed between various members of the CFR. These MOUs cover operational matters such as information sharing, and prompt notification of any regulatory decisions likely to impact on the other agency's area of responsibility. They also establish regular bilateral coordination arrangements that aim, among other things, to ensure close consultation and to avoid overlaps and gaps in regulatory coverage. At the highest level, coordination is also facilitated by overlapping representation on relevant governance committees: the APRA Chairman currently represents APRA on the Payments System Board of the RBA; and the Secretary to the Treasury is a member of the RBA Board.
Each CFR member agency has responsibility for liaising and coordinating responses with its equivalent agencies in other countries where situations of financial stress or financial regulatory issues more generally have cross-border implications.