In the wake of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (the ‘Royal Commission Inquiry’), many entities are gearing up for a substantial regulatory change agenda. The government has recently announced an ambitious Implementation Roadmap for the remaining recommendations arising from the Royal Commission Inquiry. Most recommendations are proposed to be implemented by mid-2020 and all by the end of 2020. Not the least of these recommendations is the extension of the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (the BEAR) to the superannuation and insurance industries.
What is the BEAR?
The BEAR applies to authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) and was enacted under the Banking Act 1959 (Cth). It imposes accountability obligations on ADIs and senior executives and directors who fall within the definition of being an ‘accountable person’. Accountable persons are generally those persons who fall within the particular responsibilities categories specified under the regime, which includes directors (as members of the board) and senior executives responsible for key functions, such as management of financial resources, operations, technology, audit, compliance, risk, human resources and anti-money laundering.