Economy

Jun 30, 2014

APRA chief John Laker leaves, with questions in his wake

John Laker leaves APRA -- and his long reign is heralded by some as a success. But don't forget the role of APRA in allowing a problematic foreign-borrowing before the GFC ...

Today is the last day in the job for the chairman the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), John Laker. As chairman for 11 years, Laker oversaw the rebuilding of APRA after Peter Costello gutted it following the HIH insurance collapse in 2011.

Laker’s tenure at APRA is widely regarded as a success and prima facie that is true. After HIH, APRA needed a steady hand to rebuild its credibility and Laker’s APRA can claim to have guided Australia comfortably through a global financial crisis that left other comparable regulators around the world with epochal egg on their faces. Despite some jitters in Australia, and the wholesale collapse of non-banks in the crisis, Australia’s financial system proved more robust than elsewhere.

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