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Financial System Inquiry: where and when are we travelling?

Financial System Inquiry: where and when are we travelling?

March 13, 2014 9:56 AM | Posted by Richard Batten, Tim Sutton | Print this page

The Treasurer announced the final terms of reference for the Inquiry on 20 December 2013. These are very broad and cover:

  • changes to the financial system since 1997, considering how Australia may pay for the growth of our economy, and assessing our competitiveness; 
  • the philosophy, principles and objectives underpinning the financial system; 
  • identifying and considering emerging challenges opportunities and challenges in the domestic and international financial system;
  • both company and trust structures;
  • the taxation of financial arrangements, products and institutions; and
  • recommending policy options.

The final report is due to the government by November 2014.

In the meantime, the panel, as well as the financial services industry, has a lot of work to do. The process kicks off with initial submissions by 31 March. This is likely to be followed by public hearings and meetings with the community leading up to and after the interim report due mid-2014. After the final report, a government response following the panel's recommendations could occur by mid-2015 based on the timing of previous inquiries.

Consultation papers based on the recommendations of the Inquiry may not be seen before 2016, just in time for government proposals to be taken to the next election due around September that year. This is consistent with the government's pre-election undertaking that it would impose a moratorium of significant new regulation for the financial sector during this term of government.

The issues identified in the terms of reference are diverse and complex, and timing – at least for the panel's final report in November this year – will no doubt be tight.

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