APRA restarts data platform overhaul after nine-month pause

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APRA restarts data platform overhaul after nine-month pause

Go-live pushed back to September 2021.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has resumed the once-in-a-generation overhaul of its core data collection platform after a nine-month pause.

APRA temporarily suspended the project to replace its antiquated core financial data system, Direct to APRA (D2A), in light of the pandemic in late March.

The pause – initially slated for at least six months – was instigated to allow financial institutions to concentrate on their businesses and assist their customers.

D2A, which was first introduced in 2001, is currently used to determine the financial health and capital resilience of banks and other financial institutions.

It allows financial institutions to securely connect with APRA to complete and submit financial data forms for prudential reporting and compliance.

But with D2A nearing end-of-life for at least the past two years, the regulator has been working to stand up a new data collection platform called APRA Connect.

The platform is expected to overcome a number of inherent limitations, including the requirement that banks submit data manually or by uploading XML/XBRL files.

It is also expected to allow “more granular” data to be collected and to strengthen “data-enabled decision-making”.

“APRA Connect is a modern, efficient and flexible solution to improve data collections and support evolving regulatory needs,” the regulator said on Friday.

“It underpins APRA’s broader data enabled capability uplift, and is designed to ensure APRA keeps pace with advances in data, analytics and technology.”

The longer than expected pause means APRA Connect now won’t go live until the end of September 2021 – 18 months later than first expected.

Following go-live, APRA expects a “progressive cutover of regulatory data reporting to the new solution over the coming years”.

This means that more than 4500 banks, insurers and superannuation funds will have to use both D2A and APRA Connect to meet their reporting requirements in the medium term.

APRA has previously delayed the go-live once before due to “complexities identified in the design phase, additional scope, external dependencies as well as industry feedback”.

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