APRA goes live with long-awaited data collection platform

APRA Connect launch

After an 18-month delay, the prudential regulator has announced its new data collection platform, APRA Connect, has this week gone live and will now accept submissions for its Superannuation Data Transformation program and Private Health Insurance Reform.

APRA-regulated entities can now submit data for their prudential reporting obligations via the newly launched web platform, including current Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) and future Financial Accounting Regime (FAR) requirements, as well as company updates, such as responsible persons, address and contact information.

For now, APRA Connect will operate alongside the regulator’s existing data submission platform, Direct to APRA (D2A). The software-based D2A will, however, be progressively phased out “over the coming years”, as all data collection functions move across to APRA Connect.

Like D2A, APRA Connect enables regulated entities to submit financial data for prudential reporting and compliance obligations, supporting the regulator’s goal of monitoring the health and resilience of financial institutions.

The new, web-based platform supports XBRL standard reporting and offers a test environment for users to familiarise themselves with the new environment and data submissions process.

“APRA Connect will facilitate a range of interactions which are currently handled through other systems and processes, such as ad hoc data requests, extension, exemption and resubmission requests, post-submission data quality processes and upload of additional documents and supporting information,” APRA notes on its website.

Following its launch, APRA Connect will accept data collections for the Superannuation Data Transformation (SDT) collections, which are due by 30 September, and for the Private Health Insurance (PHI) Reform (HRS 605.0), due at the end of October.

Under the SDT, super providers will be required to provide data for cash, fixed income, unlisted equity, property, infrastructure and alternatives. Data for the following quarter will be due by 31 October.

The software-based D2A, now in its 6th iteration, has been the regulator’s default company data collection platform for nearly two decades.

While APRA Connect was due to be introduced in early 2020, APRA opted to suspend the rollout to allow regulated entities to respond to and support customers through the Covid-19 pandemic.

To access APRA Connect, regulated entities will need to nominate their initial Regulatory Reporting Administrator via the regulator’s D2A form.

APRA has also revealed that, in response to feedback, the Connect auto-submission functionality for data returns will include an optional approval step in the form of a validation rule (“a warning”, APRA states) prior to submission of a completed data return. Entities may elect to activate the rule for all data returns.

Currently, this rule only applies to the Superannuation Data Transformation collection and Private Health Insurance HRF 605.0 return.

APRA has set out four priorities for regulated entities joining the new data submissions platform:

  • Entities must ensure that all users have myGovID to establish their digital identity and be authorised by their organisation in RAM to access APRA services on its behalf. See more information on APRA Connect authentication and setting up users in RAM.
  • Entities must nominate one user for each ABN who will be assigned by APRA to the Regulatory Reporting Administrator (RRA) role, which is the only role with permissions to manage user access.
  • Entities should nominate via the D2A form ‘RRA_PROD: APRA Connect nomination for 13 September go live’. Entities will also need to nominate any additional roles that are required to be assigned to the initial RRA.
  • Nominations to access the APRA Connect test environment can also be submitted through the D2A form: RRA: APRA Connect test nomination.