What does APRA stand for?
APRA stands for Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
APRA is an Australian regulatory authority which aims to supervise financial services industries and institutions under it's 'predential' standards. Colloquially prudential stands 'good judgement' or 'commonsense', and thus APRA aims to regulate these industries to encourage stable financial system within Australia. APRA overseen by the Australian Parliament, and therefore it can be held accountable for it's policies by politicians, and in theory (as representatives of the population), the people themselves.
In regulating financial institutions APRA works closely with other institutions such as the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Treasury and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
What industries does APRA regulate?
APRA is most known for supervising instituations within the superannuation, banking and insurance industries.
But the list of organisations that fall under APRA's supervision is much larger. APRA holds authority over institutions that are authorised to take deposits (for example a bank, credit union, building society or online only bank). They oversee institutions that provide insurance including life insurance, general insurance, home & contents insurance, car insurance, business insurance, professional insurance, private health insurance and many more. They also oversee long term savings scheme's such superannuation funds, self managed superannuation funds (SMSF), pension funds and other forms of retirement planning / funding.