Conclusion

The Inquiry believes that, if implemented and enforced, the recommendations in this report should provide a robust framework to strengthen the financial system, and position it to meet Australia’s evolving needs and support sustainable economic growth.

The Inquiry recognises it has not addressed all issues put before it by interested parties. The Final Report, by necessity, prioritises those issues the Inquiry considers most important in setting a blueprint for the Australian financial system.

The issues examined and recommendations made by the Inquiry involve matters of judgement. Importantly, the Inquiry’s test in these judgements has been one of public interest: the interests of individuals, businesses, the economy, taxpayers and Government. Some recommendations are likely to have a private cost for stakeholders. These costs have been explicitly taken into account in the Inquiry’s deliberations. After carefully considering the evidence provided, the Inquiry’s judgment is that the benefit to the public interest from these recommendations outweighs their associated costs.

The net result of these recommendations would be to:

  • Encourage an efficient financial system to allocate Australia’s scarce financial and other resources for the greatest possible benefit to the economy, promoting higher and more sustainable productivity and economic growth.
  • Promote competition in the financial system, both now and into the future.
  • Strengthen the resilience of the financial system, improving its capacity to adjust to both the normal business cycle as well as a severe economic shock.
  • Lift the value of Australia’s superannuation system and retirement incomes both for individuals and the economy.
  • Drive economic growth and productivity by establishing policy settings that promote an innovative and dynamic financial system.
  • Enhance the confidence and trust that users of financial products and services have in the financial system by creating a regulatory environment in which financial firms treat their customers fairly.
  • Provide financial regulators with the right tools to achieve their mandates, while ensuring they are held accountable.

Such outcomes will improve efficiency, resilience and fair treatment in the Australian financial system, allowing it to achieve its potential in supporting economic growth and enhancing standards of living for current and future generations.