APRA indicated it would be intensifying its focus on monitoring and responding to the impact of a rapidly changing environment on regulated institutions’ financial and operational capacity.

As a result, its supervision priorities as outlined in January will be largely suspended until the end of September, particularly where they involve intensive engagement with regulated organisations.

Instead, APRA’s supervision effort will involve virtual engagements with entities unless absolutely necessary, with it planning to monitor key financial settings, such as capital and liquidity, and responding accordingly.

It is also reconsidering the implementation dates and transition timeframes for prudential and reporting standards that have been recently finalised but not yet instigated. Further details on any adjustments are said to be coming shortly.

It is also suspending all “substantive” public consultations and actions to finalise revisions to the prudential framework that are currently underway or upcoming, including consultations on prudential and reporting standards.

APRA said it will keep the situation under review, but it presently does not plan to recommence consultation on any non-essential matters before 30 September 2020.

However it may continue to progress certain data reporting initiatives where they are critical to meeting its mandate in the current environment, including new data collections related to the impacts of COVID-19.

APRA chair Wayne Byres said it was essential that both APRA and financial institutions were able to give their fullest attention to the impact of COVID-19.

“APRA set out an expansive policy and supervision agenda in January, but right now it is more important that banks, insurers and superannuation trustees – as well as APRA – devote their energy and resources to responding to the impact of COVID-19,” Mr Byres said.

“We will be working with financial institutions to balance the need for timely data and information on current conditions with institutions’ ability to effectively manage their own response.

“Given the rapidly evolving environment in which everyone is operating, we will continue to closely monitor the extent and impact of COVID-19 on APRA-regulated entities to consider if any further modifications to our supervisory and policy activities are necessary.”