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Tuesday, 02 February 2010 15:34

APRA issues tech compliance guidelines for banks

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Australian finance sector watchdog APRA has issued new guidelines for the industry on managing the security risks for information and information technology by institutions like banks and broking houses.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority says its new prudential practice guide targets areas in IT security where is has identified on-going weaknesses.

The guide includes sections on the importance of an overarching framework, systematic IT asset life-cycle management, effective monitoring processes and robust IT security reporting and assurance mechanisms.

The guide follows the publication of a draft in May last year and a consultation. Its content has been anticipated by an industry concerned about increased compliance requirements that Government's have sought to impose in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Market researchers Ovum have identified government intervention and new regulation as one of its key market trends for 2010. While the overall IT market will remain flat for the year, the finance sector may produce an industry fillip through the increased need for IT systems to meet new compliance requirements.

The industry business strategy will be dominated by regulatory focus on liquidity, risk management and driving a structural change in business behaviour, the Ovum report says.


Information management and analytics would form bedrock of compliance and risk management solutions to let institutions deal with evolution of compliance requirements, it said.

"Given the events of 2008 and 2009, it is unsurprising that regulators will be focused in driving greater transparency and stronger risk management in the financial markets technology sector," said Ovum's Financial Services Technology team principal analyst Daniel Mayo.

"As an immediate outcome, this will drive greater demand for greater frequency, rigor and extent of regulatory reporting.  However, in 2010 this will extend from focus on reporting to governance, incentive structures and actual business practices and controls."

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