APRA Launches Public Consultation on Banks’ ‘Points of Presence’ Data


Media release from Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), originally released here on 4/04/2023

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is launching a public consultation on its “points of presence” data – the data APRA collects and publishes on physical banking service channels in Australia. 

APRA publishes a detailed listing of the number of bank branches, and other physical banking points of presence, on an annual basis. The consultation is seeking public feedback on how the data collection and publication can be made more helpful to users, examining issues such as categories of data published and banking services covered. 

APRA is reviewing its data collection and publication in response to Recommendation?7 of the Regional Banking Taskforce’s final report on the impact of bank branch closures in regional and remote Australia. The Taskforce recommended APRA review its points of presence collection to better capture indicators on how banking services are accessed, including through digital channels.  

APRA’s review will be undertaken concurrently with the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport inquiry into bank closures in regional Australia. APRA looks forward to supporting the work of the Senate Inquiry through its review.  

APRA Member Therese McCarthy Hockey said: “APRA is conscious of the impact of bank branch closures on consumers and businesses, particularly those in regional and remote communities.  

“APRA’s data shows that over the five years to June 2022, branches have declined by 30 per cent in major cities, and 29 per cent in regional and remote areas.  

“While the decision to close a branch is a commercial matter for individual banks and not something APRA regulates, our points of presence data collection plays an important role in ensuring proper transparency around the availability of banking services across Australia. 

“We want to hear from all interested parties, including consumer and community groups, on ways we can improve our data collection and ensure it remains useful and relevant,” Ms McCarthy Hockey said. 

A discussion paper with more information about APRA’s consultation, including how to make a submission, is available at: Authorised deposit-taking institutions’ points of presence review.

Subject to interest, APRA also proposes to host online forums to hear from local communities about how the Points of Presence data collection can be improved. Local governments or other community groups who wish to participate can email APRA at: pointsofpresence@apra.gov.au.