A nervous APRA shows its hand

As the financial system inquiry progresses, it's clear the regulator has some concerns that the sophisticated and nuanced regime it oversees might soon be overlaid with some new and quite rigid domestic rules.

Once the financial system inquiry’s interim report was issued in July it was evident the major banks were facing a potential two-pronged attack on their returns and competitiveness that unnerved them.

One dimension of that prospective threat was that the report, and subsequent comments by its chairman, David Murray, questioned whether the majors were as conservatively capitalised relative to their international peers as previously believed.

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