Reserve Bank Board

The role, responsibilities and composition of the Reserve Bank Board are laid down in the Reserve Bank Act 1959. Over and above the legislated requirements and in recognition of their responsibility for maintaining a reputation for integrity and propriety on the part of the Board and the Reserve Bank, members have adopted a Code of Conduct.

Role of the Reserve Bank Board

The ‘mandate’ or ‘charter’ of the Reserve Bank Board is contained in section 10(2) of the Reserve Bank Act:

...the Reserve Bank Board has power to determine the policy of the Bank in relation to any matter, other than its payments system policy, and to take such action as is necessary to ensure that effect is given by the Bank to the policy so determined.

It is the duty of the Reserve Bank Board, within the limits of its powers, to ensure that the monetary and banking policy of the Bank is directed to the greatest advantage of the people of Australia and that the powers of the Bank under this Act and any other Act, other than the Payment Systems (Regulation) Act 1998 and the Payment Systems and Netting Act 1998, are exercised in such a manner as, in the opinion of the Reserve Bank Board, will best contribute to:
  1. the stability of the currency of Australia;
  2. the maintenance of full employment in Australia; and
  3. the economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia.

The main focus of discussions at the Reserve Bank Board's meetings each month is on monetary policy. This discussion occurs against the background of papers prepared by Reserve Bank staff about developments in the domestic and foreign economies, and in financial markets. These papers are supplemented by staff presentations at each Board meeting.

The relationship of the Reserve Bank Board with the Government is set out in section 11 of the Reserve Bank Act. Thus, the ‘Government is to be informed ... from time to time, of the Bank's monetary and banking policy’. In practice, this occurs through regular contact between the Governor and other senior executives and the Treasurer, usually by way of regular discussions.

The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 specifies that the Governor must prepare an annual report by 15 October, for presentation to the Treasurer and tabling in the Parliament.

The Reserve Bank Board has an Audit Committee and a Remuneration Committee.

In addition to the Reserve Bank Board, the Reserve Bank has another board, the Payments System Board, which is responsible for the Reserve Bank's payments system policy.

Meetings of the Reserve Bank Board

The Reserve Bank Board meets eleven times each year, on the first Tuesday of each month, except January. Board meetings are usually held at the Reserve Bank's Head Office in Sydney. Meetings are held in two other Australian cities each year.

Five members form a quorum for a meeting of the Reserve Bank Board, which must be chaired by the Governor or, in his absence, the Deputy Governor. Consistent with the Reserve Bank Act, the Board makes decisions by a majority of the members present, with the Chair having a casting vote, if necessary. Minutes of the monetary policy meetings of the Board are published two weeks after each meeting. The Governor and Deputy Governor do not participate in deliberations of the Board related to the terms and conditions of their employment. Meetings are held in the Boardroom of the Reserve Bank's Head Office in Sydney or a similar facility in one of the Bank's State Offices when meetings are held interstate (a secure location is used in Australian cities where the Bank does not have its own premises). Meetings commence at 9.00 am and generally run for around three and half hours, and conclude with a light lunch to which a guest is usually invited. Meetings held interstate are followed by a dinner with the local community.

Members of the Reserve Bank Board

The Reserve Bank Board comprises nine members: three ex officio members – the Governor (who is Chair), the Deputy Governor (who is Deputy Chair) and the Secretary to the Treasury – and six non-executive members, who are appointed by the Treasurer. The Governor and Deputy Governor are appointed for terms of up to seven years, and are eligible for reappointment. The non-executive members are appointed for terms of up to five years. There is no limit on the number of terms a member may serve. A list of previous and current members of the Reserve Bank Board is also published on this website.

In terms of section 17(1) of the Reserve Bank Act, members of the Board may not be a director, officer or employee of an authorised deposit-taking institution for the purposes of the Banking Act 1959.

The current members of the Reserve Bank Board are:

Chair: Philip Lowe

Photograph of Philip Lowe

Governor since 18 September 2016
Present term ends 17 September 2023

Chair – Payments System Board
Chair – Council of Financial Regulators
Chair – Financial Markets Foundation for Children
Chair – Bank for International Settlements Committee on the Global Financial System
Member – Financial Stability Board
Member – Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision
Director – The Anika Foundation

Deputy Chair: Guy Debelle

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Deputy Governor since 18 September 2016
Present term ends 17 September 2021

Chair – Reserve Bank Risk Management Committee
Chair – Global Foreign Exchange Committee

Mark Barnaba AM

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Member since 31 August 2017
Present term ends 30 August 2022

Chair – Reserve Bank Board Audit Committee

Co-Deputy Chair – Fortescue Metals Group Ltd
Chair – Audit and Risk Management Committee, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd
Chair – Investments Committee, HBF
Chair – The University of Western Australia Business School Board
Adjunct Professor – Investment Banking and Finance, The University of Western Australia
Senior Advisor – EY Oceania
Senior Advisor – Appian Capital Advisory LLP Senior Advisory Board

Wendy Craik AM

Photograph of Wendy Craik

Member since 7 May 2018
Present term ends 6 May 2023

Chair – Climate Change Authority
Chair – Steering Committee, National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program – South East Queensland
Director – Australian Farm Institute
Member – Advisory Board, The Centre for Strategy & Governance
Member – Advisory Board, National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency
Member – Advisory Board, Public Leadership Research Group – Howard Library of the University of New South Wales
Member – Future Drought Fund Consultative Committee

Ian Harper

Photograph of Ian Harper

Member since 31 July 2016
Present term ends 30 July 2021

Member – Reserve Bank Board Remuneration Committee

Dean and Director – Melbourne Business School Limited
Chair – Stipends Committee, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne
Director – Harper Associates Australia
Director – Mt Eliza Graduate School of Business and Government Ltd
Director – Ridley College Limited

Steven Kennedy PSM

Photograph of Steven Kennedy

Member since 2 September 2019

Secretary to the Australian Treasury

Ex officio member – Board of Taxation
Ex officio member – Council of Financial Regulators
Member – Melbourne Institute Advisory Board
Member – Sir Roland Wilson Foundation
Member – Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision

Allan Moss AO

Photograph of Allan Moss AO

Member since 2 December 2015
Present term ends 1 December 2020

Member – Reserve Bank Board Audit Committee

Principal – Allan Moss Investments Pty Ltd
Advisory Board Member – Eight Investment Partners Pty Ltd

Carol Schwartz AO

Photograph of Carol Schwartz

Member since 14 February 2017
Present term ends 13 February 2022

Member – Reserve Bank Board Remuneration Committee

Founding Chair – Women's Leadership Institute Australia
Chair – Our Community
Director – Qualitas Property Partners
Director – Trawalla Group

Catherine Tanna

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Member since 30 March 2011
Present term ends 29 March 2021

Chair – Reserve Bank Board Remuneration Committee

Managing Director – EnergyAustralia Holdings Limited
Board Member – Business Council of Australia
Executive Board Member – National COVID-19 Coordination Commission
Member – Chief Executive Women