Insurers endorse APRA in survey

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Private health insurers have given the prudential regulator a strong endorsement in its biennial stakeholder survey.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority surveys its key stakeholder groups every two years. It is an online survey using a closed ‘ratings-scale’ format and a five-point scale with two positive response options, two negative options and a neutral option.

It is the first time private health insurers have participated in the survey since APRA took responsibility for its prudential regulation from the Private Health Insurance Administration Council in 2015.

A total of 24 private health insurers responded, scoring the regulator highly, more highly than any other insurance sector, across the majority of categories.

They gave the regulator a 4.3 out of 5 for balancing the financial safety of the sector against the need to ensure its efficiency, competition and contestability. They gave it the same score for its supervision protecting the financial well-being of the community. The sector scored the regulator 4.1 out of 5 when it came to its supervision enhancing its financial strength.

In each case, the private health insurance sector rated the regulator higher or equal to any other insurance sector, including general and life insurance.

It also ranked the regulator highly when it came to clearly communicating its prudential standards and achieving its mission.

APRA chairman Wayne Byres said the results were broadly consistent with the previous Stakeholder Survey conducted in 2015.

“Though the 2017 survey picked up some slight variations compared with two years ago, it confirmed APRA has an overwhelmingly positive and productive relationship with the entities it regulates," he said.

“The biennial Stakeholder Survey is an important tool for APRA to monitor its performance, and the effectiveness of its prudential supervision activities. It allows APRA to identify any concerns the industry may have and potential areas for improvement. APRA publishes the results of the survey as part of its commitment to transparency and accountability.”