Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra) could require financial institutions to test climate risks

Finance sector could face climate-risk testing, says Australian watchdog
Regulator says it may add climate change to the list of scenarios it asks institutions to run to check economic resilience,
Guardian, , 9 Mar 17, Australia’s financial institutions could be required to test climate-risk scenarios as international regulators continue to warn of the economic dangers posed by climate change.

Geoff Summerhayes, executive board member of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra), told a Senate committee that climate scenario testing could be added to the other common scenarios Apra requires financial institutions to face to ensure their systems are robust.

It’s been more than a year since the COP21 Paris climate change conference, when the former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was appointed to head a taskforce to provide investors, insurers, banks and consumers with more information. The move was part of plans for a voluntary industry-led code announced by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the G20 body that monitors and makes recommendations about the financial system.

Last month Summerhayes warned climate change posed a material risk to the entire financial system and urged companies to start adapting. Apra is the regulator that oversees the $6tn industry made up of banks, building societies, superannuation, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

Summerhayes said Apra already sent out common scenarios for institutions to test. These scenarios have an economic factor, including an asset price shock and, in the case of the insurance industry, a potential liabilities scenario as well.

 “It is possible in the future that climate could be such a risk that we would want to test,” Summerhayes said. “That is not in our current plans but it is possible as other emerging risks are, that we would scenario test.”

He acknowledged the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) had been very active on climate change. The bank’s governor, Mark Carney, has warned of financial crises and falling living standards unless corporations faced up to the risks. “Apra is not first prudential regulator to make statements about climate,” he said.

Emma Herd, the chief executive of Investor Group on Climate Change, told the committee the political debate in recent years had stopped companies speaking publicly about their strategic response to climate change…….

The Senate inquiry, initiated by Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson and restarted after the federal election, is looking into carbon risk and disclosure in corporate Australia.


March 11, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming

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