BNK Bank cops APRA penalty for data reporting failure


BNK Bank, an ASX-listed digital-only bank, has been fined nearly $250,000 for its more than month-long delay in reporting statistical data to APRA – a legal obligation for all regulated FSIs in Australia – blaming the error on a “technical issue” within its core banking platform.

BNK was reportedly 32 days late in filing scheduled statistical reports to APRA as part of its obligations under the Economic and Financial Statistics (EFS) program – which ultimately breaches the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 (FSCODA).

BNK chief executive Allan Savins in a statement to the ASX today reiterated – following an earlier report in April to downplay reports of a suspected cyber-attack – that the delay was caused by a “technical issue within its core banking platform [that] prevented it from generating the internal information needed for APRA’s Monthly ADI statistics”.

Temenos 24 serves as BNK’s SaaS core banking platform, used to record and maintain customer balances as well as provide internet banking and mobile banking applications.

Savins said the bank had informed the regulator of its reporting failure “as soon as [it] became aware of the issue in February”, adding that it has “dedicated substantial resources to resolve the issue and submit the outstanding reporting forms.”

EFS data – which includes data on a bank’s balance sheets, household and business finance applications and commitments, interest rates, and bank profits and fees, among other datasets – is collected by APRA on behalf of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

The data helps to determine key macroeconomic indicators for Australia, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), supporting economic policymakers in monitoring economic growth and economic forecasts.

The data is also crucial to meeting Australia’s international reporting obligations, including the Financial Stability Board (FSB).

EFS data is also utilised by APRA for prudential supervision.

APRA Member Therese McCarthy Hockey said: “Access to accurate and timely data is critical for APRA to effectively monitor the safety and stability of Australia’s banking, insurance and superannuation systems.”

BNK in a statement confirmed that it has since met all its reporting obligations for subsequent months.

“While this incident was extremely unfortunate, we can assure APRA and other stakeholders that the rectification work is now complete,” Savins said.

Trading as Goldfields Money, and headquartered in Perth, the former mutual bank boasts a loan book of $2.7 billion and customer deposits totalling $1.37 billion.

McCarthy Hockey said the $247,500 fine would serve a broader message to the regulated entities to meet their reporting obligations.

“We expect all entities to be compliant with our reporting standards to ensure APRA always has the most up-to-date information on the industries we regulate.”

Despite the reporting breach, McCarthy Hockey said BNK was able to provide sufficient reporting to enable APRA to assess and confirm that the organisation was “prudentially sound over the period”.