Dr John Laker

Dr John Laker

John Laker is Chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). APRA was established in 1998 as an integrated supervisor of banks and other deposit-taking institutions, insurance companies and superannuation funds.

John graduated from Sydney University in 1972, with First-Class Honours in Economics and the University Medal. The "ferment of ideas" which characterised the Economics Faculty in those days whetted his appetite for graduate study and for economic policy, the area to which he has subsequently devoted his whole professional life.

Following a short period in the Commonwealth Treasury, John studied at the London School of Economics where he completed an M.Sc(Econ) and Ph.D., his thesis focussing on the modelling of unemployment in Australia. He then worked at the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. for four years, helping to negotiate economic reform programs in Zambia and other countries in eastern and southern Africa.

After almost nine years abroad, John joined the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1982 and, over a 21-year career, held senior positions in all of the Bank's major policy areas. He was the Bank's Chief Representative in Europe, based in London, from 1991 to 1993; Assistant Governor (Corporate Services) from 1994 to 1998; and Assistant Governor (Financial System) from 1998 to 2003. In this latter role he was a member of the Council of Financial Regulators and Deputy Chairman of the Payments System Board of the Reserve Bank, where he was closely involved in major - and strongly contested - reforms to the credit card market in Australia.

John was also an APRA Board member from APRA's inception until July 2003, when he was appointed to run APRA as a full-time Chairman. He oversees an agency of almost 600 staff drawn from predecessor agencies, the finance industry and the professions, with offices in capital cities around Australia.

In his current capacity, John has remained on the Payments System Board and the Council of Financial Regulators as APRA's representative. He is also a member of the Joint Trans-Tasman Council of Banking Supervisors, which has been established to facilitate the integration of the Australian and New Zealand banking markets.