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APRA revises culture-driving pay standard

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The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has called for comment on a revised remuneration standard that aims to lift the focus on non-financial performance and improve corporate culture.

The revised standard has loosened some proposals in the previous draft after concerns were raised by insurers and other firms.

APRA no longer calls for a 50% cap on financial performance criteria for bonus-type payments, instead saying “material weight” must be placed on non-financial measures.

Payment deferral periods for variable remuneration have also been slightly shortened, reflecting arguments that longer delays may put Australia out of step with global practices and make it more difficult to attract and retain staff.

“APRA’s revised standard on remuneration is deliberately principles-based to provide boards with flexibility to tailor remuneration frameworks to their entities,” Deputy Chairman John Lonsdale said last week.

The new standard would apply to major banks from January 2023, while insurers that are significant financial institutions would need to implement the changes by July 2023. Smaller firms would come under the rules from the start of 2024.

Consultations on the revised standard will close on February 12. More details are available here.