Australia Westpac fined for late data reporting as regulator toughens stance
* Westpac, units fined $1 mln
* APRA says this is a "strong message" to industry
* Westpac: processes in place to meet future disclosure
(Adds Westpac comment, details on APRA fine)
Aug 8 (Reuters) - Australia's financial watchdog fined
Westpac Banking Corp and two of its units on Thursday
for failing to report data to the watchdog on time, weeks after
a government report called on the regulator to take tougher
action on misconduct.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) said
Westpac and its units will have to pay a fine of A$1.5 million
($1.02 million), the maximum payable for the breach.
Westpac and its two units were late in submitting data
pertaining to financial statistics for the quarter ended March
31, and for the month of March. The units were also late in
April, APRA said in a statement.
"APRA wants to send a strong message to industry that
compliance with our reporting standards is mandatory, and cannot
be considered secondary to other business priorities," APRA
Deputy Chair John Lonsdale said.
An independent government report last month told the
regulator to be more forceful, and added that the body may need
more resources to help it.
Westpac, in an emailed statement, said it now has processes
in place to deliver all required data by the APRA on time and it
"regrets" not doing so in the incidents mentioned.
APRA's move highlights the scrutiny regulators have come
under recently to take a larger and more proactive role in
cleaning up the country's financial sector after widespread
wrongdoing was found by a year-long inquiry.
($1 = 1.4769 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru, additional
reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)
First Published: 2019-08-08 07:46:50
Updated 2019-08-08 09:48:46
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