On Sunday 7 December 2014 the Federal Treasurer, Mr Joe Hockey, released the Final Report of the Financial System Inquiry (or ‘Murray Inquiry’ after its Chair, David Murray) having received it at the end of November in accordance with the Terms of Reference. The Inquiry was established by the Treasurer in December 2013 to review Australia’s financial system in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
In the press release which accompanied the Final Report the Treasurer stated that it ‘lays out a blueprint for the financial system over the next decade.’ He went on to say that the Government intends to consult with industry and consumers before making any decisions on the recommendations. This consultation will take place until 31 March 2015.
It is fair to say that the Report contains no real surprises and, perhaps a little disappointingly, no new ‘Big Ideas’ of the scale of the so-called ‘twin peaks model’ suggested by the Wallis Report in 1997 and adopted soon afterwards. The overall theme seems to be ‘it ain’t broke so all it needs is a good tune-up’. This was not unexpected after statements in the Interim Report of July 2014 that ‘the Australian financial system has performed reasonably well in meeting the financial needs of Australians and facilitating productivity and economic growth’ and ‘many areas of the financial system are operating effectively and do not require substantial change’.
Readers will recall that the Interim Report contained the Inquiry’s preliminary observations following the first round of submissions and consultations, but it made no firm or formal recommendations (see our previous article). Interested parties were invited to make further submissions to be considered for the Final Report. By the closing date of 26 August 2014 some 6,500 further submissions were received (on top of the almost 300 original submissions).
The Final Report contains 44 recommendations. Please see our review of some the Report’s highlights concerning:
- The Murray Inquiry – Primary themes
- The Murray Inquiry – Consumer Protection
- The Murray Inquiry – Finance companies and shadow banking
- The Murray Inquiry – International competitiveness and the funds management sector
- The Murray Inquiry – Superannuation
- The Murray Inquiry – Bank regulatory capital
- The Murray Inquiry – Innovation, Technology and Regulators
- The Murray Inquiry – Taxation
- The Murray Inquiry – Retail corporate bond market
- The Murray Inquiry – Corporate Administration and Bankruptcy
- The Murray Inquiry – Payment systems – some changes looming?
- The Murray Inquiry – Technology and cybersecurity
And to find out more, see our comprehensive analysis on our website.