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Australia to amend draft bill on bank executives' accountability

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Australia to amend draft bill on bank executives' accountability

The Australian government is set to amend the draft Banking Executive Accountability Regime Bill to allow bankers to challenge penalties imposed by the prudential regulator under its expanded powers, The Australian Financial Review reported Oct. 10.

The amendment provides an appeal mechanism to the bill to allow for a merits review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on decisions made by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority against bankers for misconduct. Bankers may also appeal the tribunal's decision to the federal court.

The move follows negotiations between the government and the banking sector, which pointed out a lack of court oversight over APRA's expanded power under the proposed legislation. Bankers also noted that the draft bill contrasted with the Banking Act 1959 and Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001, which allows the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to review APRA's decision when disqualifying a banker from working in a bank, according to an earlier AFR report.

The draft bill was introduced earlier this year to improve bank culture and to raise the accountability of banks' senior executives and board members following a series of scandals that hit the banking sector.