There are four member agencies of the Council of Financial Regulators (CFR). Each has different responsibilities in the Australian financial system.
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) oversees banks, building societies, credit unions, general and life insurance companies, friendly societies and most of the superannuation industry. APRA is responsible for the prudential supervision of individual institutions and for promoting financial system stability. In performing and exercising its functions and powers, APRA is required to balance the objectives of financial safety and efficiency, competition, contestability and competitive neutrality, and in doing so is to promote financial system stability in Australia.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia's corporate, markets and financial services regulator. It contributes to Australia's economic reputation and wellbeing by ensuring that Australia's financial markets are fair and transparent, supported by confident and informed investors and consumers.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 requires ASIC to maintain, facilitate and improve the performance of the financial system and entities in it; promote confident and informed participation by investors and consumers in the financial system; administer the law effectively and with minimal procedural requirements; enforce and give effect to the law; receive, process and store, efficiently and quickly, information that is given to it and make information about companies and other bodies available to the public as soon as practicable.
Reserve Bank of Australia
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is Australia's central bank. Its duty is to contribute to the maintenance of price stability, full employment, and the economic prosperity and welfare of the Australian people. It does this by setting the cash rate to meet a medium-term inflation target, working to maintain a strong financial system and efficient payments system, and issuing the nation's banknotes. The RBA provides selected banking services to the Australian Government and its agencies, and to a number of overseas central banks and official institutions. Additionally, it manages Australia's gold and foreign exchange reserves.
The Treasury, a central policy agency, seeks to improve the wellbeing of Australian people by providing high-quality policy advice to the Australian Government and assisting in the implementation of key policy initiatives.
As part of its role, The Treasury has responsibility for advising the Government on financial stability issues and on the legislative and regulatory framework underpinning financial system infrastructure. This includes on policy process and reforms that: promote a secure financial system and sound corporate practices; remove impediments to competition in products and services markets; safeguard the public interest in matters such as consumer protection and foreign investment.