APRA Refuses FOI: Secret “Risk Registers” A Threat To Australia’s Financial System

27 Dec

h/t reader “Richo”

A perfect follow up to our two most recent posts on Australia’s Ponzi banking system.

The coverup by the government, Treasury, the RBA, and the so-called “regulators”, of the true state of Australia’s financial system continues apace.

From the Canberra Times:

They are 12 secret documents judged to be so potentially damaging that releasing their contents would endanger the stability of Australia’s whole economic system.

Australia’s biggest banks, insurers and superannuation funds are named, and some are apparently shamed, in ”risk registers” kept by the Federal Government’s banking regulator.

But in a gaping hole in Australia’s defences against the global financial crisis, Fairfax can reveal the crucially important registers were only compiled months after the worst of the crisis struck.

The regulator warns the risks outlined in the registers are so sensitive that releasing the information ”may affect the stability of Australia’s economy”.

The registers pinpoint the weakest links in Australia’s multibillion dollar financial services industry, outlining where individual institutions pose systemic risks and the possible remedies by the regulator.

Fairfax sought risk registers drafted by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, which is responsible for addressing system-wide risks in Australia’s financial system, under freedom of information laws.

The request sought registers kept during the height of the global financial crisis, which occurred when Lehman Bros collapsed in 2008.

But in denying the request, APRA revealed it had not compiled the crucial documents during the worst of the crisis.

A schedule released by APRA shows the first register was dated November 2008, suggesting APRA only drafted the documents after the worst shocks from the crisis in the US.

APRA’s rejection of the request was based on its general counsel Warren Scott’s assessment of the dangers to the economy if the registers were to be released.

”In my view the confidence in the economy may be undermined if the potential emerging risks and APRA’s discussions and thoughts were disclosed … this may have a systemic effect in the industry which may affect the stability of Australia’s economy,” he wrote.

The risk registers gather information from all areas of APRA, including confidential information from banks, insurers and super funds gained by its ”frontline” supervisors, specialist risk officers and statistics teams.

Officers from APRA meet every six weeks to discuss the ”key risks” facing each of four industry groups – banking, superannuation, general insurance and life insurance.

Key risks are assigned to an APRA ”risk owner” to recommend and carry out a response.

Mr Scott said release of the registers could influence investing decisions and harm individual institutions – a reference to behaviour such as a run on a bank.

”The subject matter of the registers is sensitive and remains sensitive at this point in time,” he wrote.

Mr Scott’s decision was supported by the Freedom of Information Commissioner, James Popple, in a draft ruling shortly before Christmas.

Fairfax’s application to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner took more than a year.

Mr Popple partly based his decision on secret examples that showed banking, insurance and other financial services would suffer a ”substantial adverse effect” if the registers were disclosed.

Mr Popple found releasing the registers would be contrary to the public interest because of the damage it could cause by providing businesses with premature knowledge of APRA’s actions.

Like I said, in our ‘modern’ bankster-debt-driven world, the word “economy” is perfectly synonymous with the word “Ponzi”.

It’s all a con-fidence trick.

If you can’t “talk it up” … cover up.

UPDATE:

Reader “Richo” says it well:

“Yes we wouldn’t want this house of cards coming down because the public, god forbid, actually figured out how vulnerable their investments are”.

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7 Responses to “APRA Refuses FOI: Secret “Risk Registers” A Threat To Australia’s Financial System”

  1. Jazza December 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    This government and its lackey absolutely disgust me!

  2. JMD December 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    I figure an APRA risk register that states that the banking system is insolvent probably would cause multiple bank runs. I can see why they would want to cover it up. The bit I don’t understand is how even a casual observer wouldn’t get by now that not just the banking system but the government itself is insolvent.

    The ignorance of the human race is truly astounding.

    • The Blissful Ignoramus December 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

      Correct.

    • Tel December 28, 2011 at 10:41 am #

      Quite so.

      If the contents of the document are so very bad they need to be locked up in secret… then we don’t need to read the document anymore, we already know what’s in it.

  3. Black death December 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    NSW Labor’s in Canbera, corruption has spread.. The worst government in Australia’s in charge of our country.. I’m not surprised

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