Australia’s financial services regulator will temporarily suspend the issuing of new banking, insurance and superannuation licences amid uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has issued a letter to applicants saying the pause will be for at least six months.
However, APRA will continue to assess current licence applications “so the delay on launching when the hold is lifted will be minimised”.
APRA regulatory affairs and licensing general manager Melisande Waterford said new entrants found it difficult to succeed even under normal conditions.
“(This) is why APRA does not consider it prudent to license APRA-regulated entities at this time,” she said.
“As the operating environment stabilises, APRA will keep its approach under review and advise current applicants when the granting of licences will restart.”
She said APRA would for the next six months issue new licences only in the “rare case” that granting a licence was necessary for the body to carry out its mandate.