The Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, has given his Second Reading Speech in the Parliament with respect to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Banking Executive Accountability and Related Measures) Bill 2017 (BEAR Legislation) that introduces the Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR).

In his speech, the Treasurer made no surprises except that his Government still intends for BEAR to “commence on 1 July 2018, with transitional arrangements for certain elements of the regime. “ This is despite a Senate committee calling for the implementation date of the BEAR to be delayed until at least January 2019 to allow time for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to put their prudential standards in place, and to allow Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADIs) to implement their compliance measures. The Treasurer has not elaborated on what he meant by “transitional arrangements”.

Bearing in mind that the BEAR Legislation has not yet been passed by the Parliament, and APRA has not yet released their regulatory guidance, the 1 July 2018 start date means that there will not be much time for ADIs to prepare. As a result, we recommend ADIs to start preparing now based on the draft BEAR Legislation if they have not already started.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, we note that the BEAR Legislation is primarily based on similar legislation imported from the UK[1].   We have assembled an experienced multi-disciplinary team that includes staff from our London office to advise and help our clients to effectively put in place measure to comply with the BEAR given the short implementation time period.

[1] The Senior Managers and Certification Regime has been in force in the UK since March 2016.