The chair of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will step down at the end of October, marking more than eight years in the role.

Wayne Byres has advised the governor-general of his intention and the government will begin a process to appoint the next chair of the independent banking and financial services watchdog.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers thanked Mr Byres for his contribution and service. 

“Throughout a long and distinguished career, Mr Byres has made a significant contribution to the Australian financial system and the global framework for prudential regulation,” Mr Chalmers said in a statement on Tuesday.

“His leadership and expertise has positioned the Commonwealth to respond well to some of the greatest challenges in Australia’s history, most recently in ensuring the stability of the financial system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He’ll be greatly missed but I wish him well.”

Mr Byres has been part of the regulatory authority since its creation in 1998 and has held a number of senior positions across various divisions.

He also contributed to the Council of Financial Regulators and the Payments System Board of the Reserve Bank.

Mr Byres said in a statement he felt it was a good time to hand over the chair’s role to someone new, who would lead the organisation on the next stage of its journey.

“There is always more to do, but the financial system is stable, APRA’s leadership team is strong, and the organisation and its people are well-placed to continue to manage future challenges,” Mr Byres said.

He said it had been a difficult decision to make.

“Just as we expect the financial institutions we regulate to carefully consider how they renew their leadership, the same applies to APRA,” he said.