Implementing APRA Connect
Last updated: 12 March 2020
About APRA Connect
APRA is introducing a new data collection solution, to progressively replace Direct to APRA (D2A), from September 2020, and facilitate entities meeting other prudential obligations. More than 4,500 reporting entities currently submit data to APRA. Data collected by APRA under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 is used for prudential supervision, statistical publications and shared with partner agencies.
APRA Connect will provide greater flexibility for collecting and submitting data, with new functionality and an easy-to-use interface. It will ensure both entities and APRA are well placed to continue to meet evolving regulatory needs. APRA Connect will enable APRA to collect more granular data into the future, strengthening our data-enabled decision-making and enabling enhanced data submission capabilities.
APRA Connect will be a modern, efficient and flexible solution which will serve APRA and industry for years to come.
We are excited about APRA Connect and confident that the implementation approach will reduce the effort and impact on reporting entities and will facilitate a lower risk transition to the new solution.
Cross-industry Insights and Data
APRA announced a revised implementation approach in March 2020, which includes the following key points:
- APRA Connect is scheduled to go live at the end of September 2020, with a progressive cutover of financial data reporting to the new solution. Entities will be required to use both Direct to APRA (D2A) and APRA Connect in the medium term. Returns will be exclusively available on one system or the other and no new collections will be introduced to D2A will be retired once all financial data reporting has moved to APRA Connect.
- All entities will commence reporting entity information on APRA Connect, while the timing of financial data reporting on APRA Connect will vary for each industry.
- Entities will be responsible for maintaining entity information, such as contact details, responsible persons and related parties (as well as Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) reporting for Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs)) on APRA Connect.
- All financial data reporting for insurance and superannuation will continue to be reported through D2A. APRA will progressively start new collections for these industries on APRA Connect in line with industry consultations.
- APRA intends to move all reporting for ADIs and RFCs from D2A to APRA Connect in the current format in March 2021. This means that the first monthly and quarterly returns (for the March period end) will be submitted in APRA Connect. No historical financial data will be migrated to APRA Connect and any resubmissions for D2A-submitted returns will need to be made through D2A.
- All entities who submit Form 701 for intermediated insurance business will be required to use APRA Connect. The first submission will be due on APRA Connect from January 2021. Lodgement by email, fax or mail will not be accepted after that date.
- As APRA replaces collections, they will be introduced on APRA Connect. The first new collection to be introduced to APRA Connect after the September 2020 go live date will be the Private Health Insurance (PHI) Reform (HRS 605.0).
APRA intends to make a test environment available for APRA Connect from the end of June 2020 as a permanent feature for entities to become familiar with the new solution and trial submission of entity information and financial data. Returns will be available in the test environment before entities are required to submit them prior in APRA Connect. The test environment will also be used to support the design of new collections and APRA’s consultations with industry.
APRA notes that the developing outbreak of COVID-19 is creating considerable uncertainty and disruption across the Australian financial markets and economy. APRA therefore may need to revise these timelines in response to further developments to recognise the industry’s competing priorities.
Find more about what this means for each industry.
What benefits will APRA Connect deliver?
APRA Connect will provide a better and simpler user experience.
Easier to use – APRA Connect will have a modern, intuitive user interface and will enable more options for data uploads.
Less ongoing maintenance required – APRA Connect will be web-based and will not require additional software to be installed on a user’s machine, simplifying system maintenance.
Adaptable to future needs – APRA Connect will adapt as reporting requirements, data analytics and technology evolve, and will provide greater flexibility for automation of data submission.
Fit-for-purpose collection design
New collections will use broader and more granular data models that can be used by APRA and partner agencies to fulfil multiple data requirements. These models will require less aggregation and are designed to be more aligned to the industry’s underlying data structures. APRA Connect provides APRA with a platform that facilitates the development of these future collections. Submission methods will be made available that take into account the complexity of data.
For example, simple reporting requirements may still be fulfilled by simple submission methods, such as manually completing an online form or uploading a table based on a template. However, more complex reporting requirements, and larger data collections may be more appropriately reported as data files.
Managing implementation risks
As with all large-scale technology-related projects, APRA is committed to managing and mitigating risks. APRA has a risk management framework in place with assurance processes to ensure risks are considered and appropriate mitigation plans and contingencies are in place.
In late 2019, APRA partnered with industry bodies to engage with entities to seek feedback on alternative implementation approaches for APRA’s new Data Collection Solution. The revised implementation approach has been developed taking into account this feedback, as well as upcoming changes to data collections and consideration of longer term regulatory needs. APRA is confident that the revised implementation approach will minimise the effort and impact on reporting entities and facilitate a lower risk transition to APRA Connect.
APRA notes that the developing outbreak of COVID-19 is creating considerable uncertainty and disruption across the Australian financial markets and economy. APRA therefore may need to revise timelines in response to further developments to recognise the industry’s competing priorities.