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Latest News and Media Appearances

Listing of all latest news and media releases. If you have any enquiries please contact CIFR on +61 2 9331 9342

 

Regulator dials up pressure on banks’ real estate lending - The Australian

24 June 2016

The banking regulator is quietly “dialling up” the pressure on banks' commercial real estate lending after double-digit loan growth, revealing that officials are acting on fears of a looming glut of apartments and under-utilised offices in some cities .....  more>>


Surprise jolt could bring down big four banks, says regulator APRA - Herald Sun

24 June 2016

AUSTRALIA'S banking sector is now so concentrated that the four major lenders could topple if there were one seismic external shock, the regulator says. The banking watchdog's head of supervision says that as a consequence of the major banks' ...   more>>


Bank culture to blame for risk attitudes - Financial Observer

24 June 2016

Perceptions of a financial institution’s attitude to risk can significantly affect the degree to which staff take the institution’s risk guidelines and processes seriously, research has shown. A Macquarie University research paper on ‘Risk Governance, Structures, Culture and Behaviour: A View from the Inside’, authored by associate professors Elizabeth Sheedy and Barbara Griffin, revealed a direct correlation between negative internal perceptions of a bank’s attitude toward risk, and potential staff breaches of the risk guidelines.  more>>


Remuneration the weak link in bank culture - Banking Day

24 June 2016

A survey of staff in banks worldwide has revealed that remuneration policy is generally "not favourably perceived" and is the element in bank culture most likely to lead to bad behaviour. A team of academics at the Department of Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies at Macquarie University, led by associate professor Elizabeth Sheedy, has spent the past three years researching risk culture in financial institutions.   more>>


Commercial real estate and property development 'vectors of distress' - Banking Day

24 June 2016

Banking industry regulators are spending more time watching for emerging risks in the commercial real estate and property development markets than they are in the household sector. Australian Prudential Regulation Authority executive general manager policy and supervisory support division, Charles Littrell, said APRA was "dialling up" its investigation of systemic issues in those markets.   more>>


Big banks' dominance a risk: APRA - YahooFinance

24 June 2016

The big four banks' domination of the market means a big enough external shock could bring them all down in one go, the banking regulator has warned. Australian Prudential Regulation Authority executive Charles Littrell says Australia's banking system is the most concentrated it has ever been.   more>>


Are we ready for the next 'Brexit'? - INFINANCE

24 June 2016

As the results trickle in today to determine whether Britain will remain or exit the European Union, it will become clear — despite the doomsday predictions of some soothsayers — the world will continue to turn on its axis, just as financial markets will continue to operate as they have done in the past with, of course, the inevitable bumps and scrapes along the way.  more>>


APRA 'dials up' scrutiny of bank lending for commercial real estate - The Australian Financial Review

23 June 2016

The prudential regulator is "dialling up" its scrutiny of bank lending to commercial real estate projects, an area that regulators have pinpointed as being the most exposed to a deterioration in economic conditions.   more>>


Big banks' dominance a risk: APRA - SBS

23 June 2016

The big four banks' domination of the market means a big enough external shock could bring them all down in one go, the banking regulator has warned. Australian Prudential Regulation Authority executive Charles Littrell says Australia's banking system is the most concentrated it has ever been.   more>>


'Unintended consequences' for dark trading rules - Investor Daily

25 May 2016

Dark trading has "significantly reduced" since ASIC implemented new rules in May 2013, but there have been plenty of "unintended consequences", according to one academic.  more>>


Investors need to pick the right fund manager for the times, says Russ Wermers - The Sydney Morning Herald

24 May 2016

Investors need to think about what kind of environment markets are in when they select stockpickers, and whether they need "active" strategies at all, warns one of the world's best-known thinkers on the performance of asset managers.   more>>


The superannuation tax debate is infested with the politics of envy - CIFR CEO

13 May 2016

Superannuation has again been targeted as a quick-fix in balancing the federal budget. This is perhaps not surprising – revenue raising measures that target future savings are more electorally palatable than those targeting current income. Yet the seemingly endless cycle of adjustments and changes to superannuation policy implemented as part of the annual budget process, has to stop. Regardless of the intent, it is damaging investor confidence and undermining people's efforts to plan for their long-term financial future.   more>>


All super fund boards should have independent Chair – CIFR

21 April 2016

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has released a study on board member independence within the superannuation system which recommends all funds should have an independent Chair. The study builds on a report issued last month, “Independence and the Governance of Superannuation Funds”, and includes several additional recommendations related to fund governance. These include a stricter ‘Fit and Proper’ regime to ensure individuals serving on boards have the technical and personal characteristics required to play their roles.  more>>


All super funds should have independent chair: research - Financial Standard

21 April 2016

New research shows superannuation executives are still divided over views on board independence yet academics persist all funds be required to appoint an independent chair. Following its initial paper on the contentious issue, the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has released supplementary research that includes seven industry recommendations on fund governance.   more>>


Study backs governance changes - Super Review

21 April 2016

The Federal Government's push to change superannuation fund governance arrangements has received a boost from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR). A study, released by the CIFR this week, has recommended that all funds should have an independent Chair.   more>>


Re-thinking asset allocation - The Australian Financial Review

18 April 2016

The themes in Greg Cooper's address to a Centre for International Finance and Regulation seminar in early April may not have been new but they were poignant, given the growth in assets in the superannuation industry, the ageing population and the state of financial markets.  more>>


SMSF members not necessarily numerate - Financial Standard

15 April 2016

Early findings from new self-managed superannuation fund research is showing people with higher numeracy skills are less likely to be an SMSF member. That said, the research also shows SMSF members are highly knowledgeable about running their own super fund, and the numeracy finding may be explained by age, as well as members under or over-rating their skillsets.   more>>


Super funds presented in-housing framework - Financial Standard

14 April 2016

The path for superannuation funds insourcing their investment management has become clearer with researchers developing an industry framework that tackles in-housing complexities. The framework was presented at a recent Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) event in Sydney, and co-author Dr Geoff Warren said it addresses a hot topic in the Australian super industry   more>>


Sliding scale contributions worth considering - Financial Observer

12 April 2016

Adopting an age-based sliding scale in the superannuation contributions guarantee rate could help alleviate pressure on younger savers trying to enter the property market, while still ensuring a higher overall rate of retirement saving, according to a number of leading industry academics and executives.  more>>


Super boards and independence - INFINANCE

04 April 2016

There has been a rigorous political debate about the structure of superannuation fund boards for the past decade and political party lines have not shifted very much in that period. Put briefly, the Australian Labor Party has long believed super boards need to be representative: individual trustees, or the board of a corporate trustee of a superannuation fund, must consist of equal numbers of member representatives and employer representatives   more>>


CIFR study boosts after-tax management movement - Investor Strategy

04 April 2016

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has thrown its support behind the after-tax management movement, with new research showing the detrimental impact tax can have on active manager alpha. The study also reveals some surprising results.  more>>


Tax’s detrimental impact on net investment returns - CIFR

31 March 2016

New research from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) examines the extent to which tax effects erode investor returns achieved through active management. The study finds that tax effects can be substantially detrimental and subsume any pre-tax alpha that active managers achieve.  more>>


Active management tax effects erode investor returns - Financial Standard

31 March 2016

Any pre-tax alpha gained by active fund managers can be absorbed by detrimental tax effects according to new research from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR). Continuing its research in active management, CIFR has examined the extent to which tax effects erode investor returns achieved through the investment strategy.   more>>


'Genie out of the bottle' on independent directors - Investor Daily

17 March 2016

The failure of the government's "poorly drafted" superannuation governance legislation to pass the Senate may have been a "blessing in disguise", argues a new working paper from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR).  more>>


No evidence that independence would boost performance: CIFR - Financial Standard

16 March 2016

A Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) study has found little empirical evidence that independence would improve investment performance but suggests that independence is important in maintaining the legitimacy of the superannuation system. The Federal Government has set instilling independence within the governance of superannuation as a key priority for the sector.   more>>


Board independence doesn’t equal performance - Money Management

16 March 2016

There is little empirical evidence to suggest that board member independence in the superannuation system would boost investment performance but it could contribute to maintaining the legitimacy of the super system, a new study suggested.  more>>


Super trustee independence would underpin system legitimacy

16 March 2016

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has released a new study which offers a critical view of what board member independence might offer the superannuation system. The study finds little empirical evidence that independence would improve investment performance but suggests that independence is important in maintaining the legitimacy of the superannuation system.  more>>


One thumb up for in-house investments by super funds - IO&C

07 March 2016

While there is broad agreement among big super funds on the areas they must address in their insourcing of investment management, a new study by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation points to considerably varying opinions about which areas matter most and in what way.  more>>


Super funds need to consider in-sourcing options for funds management - Money Management

07 March 2016

Superannuation funds considering the prospect of in-sourcing part of their funds management services will need to think carefully about what is right for them, a report reveals.  more>>


New framework for in-house investing - Financial Standard

07 March 2016

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has developed a framework for superannuation funds and other asset owners to implement in-house investment management. The framework is included in CIFR's latest research which argues members of larger funds can benefit directly from in-house investment management, provided it is done properly.  more>>


Fund manager research fails to identify impact of actions - Money Management

15 February 2016

Fund managers may be missing out on valuable information because of the data set used in research that fails to take their actions into account, research reveals. The study from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) found "having access to granular trade data in combination with portfolio holdings to identify the source of alpha generation," enabled managers to show their "skill".   more>>


Daily data puts new gloss on active performance - Investment News New Zealand

14 February 2016

Active managers may add value after all, according to a just-released study from the Australian-based Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR), especially during bear markets. In a statement, Zhe Chen, co-author of the study alongside fellow researcher Geoff Warren and CIFR chief David Gallagher, said traditional performance analysis based on portfolio holdings misses a large chunk of active management returns delivered via tax-efficient, short-term trading efforts.   more>>


Axing dividend imputation may not be worth the risks - The Australian Financial Review

11 February 2016

The Australian Industry Group this week reignited the debate on trading-off dividend imputation for a lower corporate tax rate. If it were designed as revenue-neutral, this would essentially involve 'shifting the deckchairs' with regard to where and how taxes related to corporate income are collected. The real economic impact would lie in how the trade-off will influence actual behaviour.  more>>


Active managers being dudded on returns - Investor Daily

11 February 2016

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has released a new paper that suggests the way active manager's returns are measured may not accurately reflect their value. The research, conducted by CIFR chief executive David Gallagher, Dr Zhe Chen and Dr Geoff Warren, found that the way performance is measured from disclosed portfolio holdings contains "systemic biases" related to interim trading and realisation of taxes.   more>>


Active managers need new measurement - Financial Standard

09 February 2016

The way active fund managers' returns are measured may not accurately reflect their value, negating up to 85 basis points in overall performance. New research from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) finds the way performance is measured from disclosed holdings "contains systematic biases related to interim trading and the realisation of taxes."   more>>


Investec buys stake in equity crowdfunding fintech - Financial Standard

09 February 2016

Investec has purchased a 20% stake in Equitise, an equity crowdfunding business. Created in 2014, Equitise has been a forerunner in the Australian equities crowdfunding sector, working alongside regulatory shifts to accommodate this new form of investment.   more>>


Active management may be undervalued – CIFR

09 February 2016

CIFR has released new research indicating that the way active fund managers’ returns are measured may not accurately reflect their value.  more>>


The fundamental flaw in the Coalition’s super reforms - Business Spectator

20 January 2016

Recent proposed changes to Australia’s superannuation regime — from freedom of choice for default funds, to lifting the contributions rate from 9 per cent to 12 per cent, to reforming who pays how much tax, all make a great deal of sense. But they also fail to address a more fundamental problem which is the moral hazard implicit within the existing superannuation investment model.  more>>


Why regulators must encourage digital innovation - INFINANCE

14 December 2015

Central banks need to stop fixating on mitigating risk in the digital financial services system, and actively encourage innovation. This was the message coming from University of New South Wales Professor, Ross Buckley, at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) 'Regulating the Revolution' event in Sydney last week.   more>>


The big cultural challenge facing central banks - AB+F

14 December 2015

Central banks need to stop fixating on mitigating risk in the digital financial services system, and actively encourage innovation.This was the message coming from University of New South Wales Professor, Ross Buckley, at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) 'Regulating the Revolution' event in Sydney late last week.   more>>


Light-Touch Regulation of 'Fintech' is Critical for Financial Inclusion, say Experts - Hong Kong Lawyer

11 December 2015

Regulators in developing countries need to find a new approach to supervising digital financial services or they risk hampering the efforts to increase financial inclusion, researchers have warned. Ross Buckley, chair of international finance law and Scientia Professor at UNSW Australia, said over-regulation posed the greatest threat to the development of the nascent fintech industry in developing countries. In many poorer areas the combination of finance and telecommunications technology was the only way to deliver banking services cost-effectively, he said.  more>>


Small scale limits need for fintech controls

11 December 2015

Australia’s emerging digital financial services industry will only need comprehensive regulation when it becomes systemically important, which is not likely to happen in the near future, according to a leading financial law academic.   more>>


New framework for ranking International Finance Centres - CIFR

08 December 2015

A new study funded by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation ranks Sydney as the tenth largest international finance centre based on data of investment banking fees billed from cross-border deals over the period 2000-14. The study titled “International Competitiveness of Australia’s Financial Services Sector” was co-authored by Dr Eric Knight from The University of Sydney and Professor Dariusz Wójcik, of the University of Oxford.   more>>


Labour flow would lift Sydney fin services - AB+F

08 December 2015

Sydney could improve its status as an international financial centre by making skilled migration easier and more attractive for Asian financial professionals, according to two leading financial academics. A newly launched report, funded by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation and co-authored by Dr Eric Knight from the University of Sydney and Professor Darius Wojcik of the University of Oxford, ranked Sydney as the number 10 international finance centre in the world.   more>>


Sydney in the top ten international financial centres - Banking Day

08 December 2015

Sydney has been ranked as the world's tenth largest international finance centre, according to a new study. London tops the rankings, followed by New York, Zurich, Frankfurt, Paris, Toronto, Tokyo, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong. Below Sydney are Stockholm, Milan, Brussels, Singapore, Munich and Melbourne (ranked 16th). The study, "International Competitiveness of Australia's Financial Services Sector", was commissioned by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation and conducted by academics from Sydney University and Oxford University.  more>>


Sydney hitting the finance big leagues - FINISIA

08 December 2015

Sydney is one of the ten largest international finance centres in the world, but it has a long way to go to work its way up the ranks, suggests a new study. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) funded study, released today, ranks the major international finance centres based on investment banking fees billed from cross-border deals. The 'International Competitiveness of Australia’s Financial Services Sector' study puts Sydney in tenth place, but its findings suggest that the NSW capital can't rest on its laurels if it's to remain in the global finance big leagues.   more>>


Labour flow would lift Sydney fin services - Fiancial Observer

08 December 2015

Sydney could improve its status as an international financial centre by making skilled migration easier and more attractive for Asian financial professionals, according to two leading financial academics. A newly launched report, funded by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation and co-authored by Dr Eric Knight from the University of Sydney and Professor Darius Wojcik of the University of Oxford, ranked Sydney as the number 10 international finance centre in the world.  more>>


CIFR researcher suggests South African model to curb reckless lending in Australia

02 December 2015

A researcher for the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has suggested that South Africa’s National Credit Act could provide a useful model for Australia. Payday lenders and rent-to-buy schemes are under fire for their lending practices and in October consumer watchdog group CHOICE presented payday lenders with a 2015 “Shonky” award for their tendency to ‘sneak around government restrictions’.  more>>


US energy companies won't leave Chapter 11 - AB+F

23 November 2015

While Glencore was able to raise US$2.5 billion in an equity raising - to cut its massive debt load and protect its rating - other distressed US oil and gas companies might not be as lucky. A bubble in the US high-yield bond market is set to burst within 12 to 18 months, said Edward Altman, a specialist in bond markets who developed a model for predicting corporate bankruptcies.   more>>


Default rates rising in US junk bond market - Banking Day

20 November 2015

After several years of benign trading conditions marked by below-average default rates, the United States high-yield corporate bond market started to deteriorate this year and, in the opinion of one expert, will deteriorate further next year.   more>>


Anti-monopoly law impedes market entry in China - INFINANCE

11 November 2015

A recent study funded by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has compared the approaches of competition law to bank mergers in China and Australia. It found that competition itself is unlikely to be the main determinant in allowing or limiting bank mergers in China.   more>>


Regulatory Uncertainty Hindering Foreign Banks in China: CIFR - Regulation Asia

11 November 2015

A report funded by CIFR (the Centre for International Finance and Regulation) suggests China is likely to put stability and national economic development before competition when ruling on bank mergers, creating a potential barrier for foreign lenders looking to expand their business. This concern comes partly from uncertainty over which institutions would be ultimately responsible for ruling on a potential bank merger, according to the report.   more>>


Anti-monopoly law impedes market entry and banking competition in China - CIFR

10 November 2015

A recent study funded by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has compared the approaches of competition law to bank mergers in China and Australia and found that competition itself is unlikely to be the main determinant in allowing or limiting bank mergers in China. While financial stability is an important consideration for both jurisdictions in reviewing proposed mergers, the study found that China places a particular emphasis on political, economic and financial stability. The focus on stability is further reinforced by China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).   more>>


On The Money - 2SER

02 November 2015

On the show this week, we take a look at the Turnbull government's response to the Murray inquiry into our financial system and the missed opportunity to look at increasing competition in Australia's banking sector.   more>>


There's no need to kill off dividend imputation - Business Spectator

26 October 2015

With tax reform back on the agenda, the future of dividend imputation remains uncertain. Allowed in Australia since 1987, dividend imputation ensures companies and shareholders don’t end up paying tax on the same income, commonly known as “double taxation”. It means local company dividends come with a tax credit. There is a perception among some that the early benefits of dividend imputation have been eroded due to the increasing globalisation of markets, and the dominance of international investors in determining share prices.  more>>


Tax reform aside, there’s no real case to kill off dividend imputation - Investment Magazine

26 October 2015

With tax reform back on the agenda, the future of dividend imputation remains uncertain. Allowed in Australia since 1987, dividend imputation ensures companies and shareholders don’t end up paying tax on the same income, commonly known as “double taxation”. It means local company dividends come with a tax credit.  more>>


Boring and protected: fifth pillar needed to get Australian bank customers moving - The Conversation

12 October 2015

Australia’s four pillars banking policy was originally intended to preserve competition in financial services by maintaining separation of the main players. Today, that policy provides them a comfort zone and a government guarantee. It’s not simply a playing field that needs levelling – the four major banks own centre court and the other players are consigned to court 16.  more>>


Government abandons bank deposit tax - Investor Daily

02 September 2015

The abandoned tax, which was proposed by the former Labor government, was designed to protect depositors in the event that an Australian bank collapsed. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday afternoon that "Labor's bank deposit tax is dead". "The last way to make our banks strong, the last way to protect depositors, is to hit banks with more taxes. That's the Labor way. It's not the Coalition's way," Mr Abbott said.   more>>


Has 'Four Pillars' policy past its use-by date? - FINSIA

28 August 2015

It’s time for the Australian government to get rid of its archaic 'Four Pillars' policy as it stifling competition and making it tough for new entrants to come into the retail banking sector, thus entrenching the dominance of the big four lenders. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) - which yesterday released a study on competition in the financial services sector - found the four pillar rule has had its day and is not only driving poor consumer outcomes but has killed off technological and product innovation since 2008.   more>>


CIFR report on switching raises hackles - AB+F

28 August 2015

A study on competition in retail banking has flagged the idea of introducing bank account portability despite the cost to the big four banks. This sparked indignant comments from members of the banking industry that Australia's New Payment Platform (NPP) - slated to be ready by 2017- will do exactly the same job as any portability system that the banks could build.   more>>


Calls to throw four-pillar policy out - The Daily Telegraph

27 August 2015

New research claims the big four banks are hindering the competition across the financial sector  more>>


Memo to the big four banks: ‘your number is up’ - news .com.au

26 August 2015

THE dominance of Australia’s big four banks is stifling innovation, and customers are missing out — that’s the conclusion drawn by a major research study released on Tuesday. It recommends a shake-up of the banking sector to give smaller lenders and fintech start-ups a fighting chance — and potentially put an end to ridiculous credit card fees.  more>>


Four pillars is 'industry policy at its worst' - Investor Daily

26 August 2015

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has released the Competition in Financial Services research report – with the key recommendation of the removal of the 'four pillars' policy. Launching the report in Sydney yesterday, lead author Dr Rob Nicholls said the four pillars policy – which was introduced to prevent mergers between the big banks – actually reinforces the "entry and exit issues" that are hampering competition in the industry.  more>>


Account number portability back on the agenda - Banking Day

26 August 2015

The push for bank account number portability has received some new impetus, with a study on banking competition calling for the introduction of account number portability as a way of promoting competition. The recommendation is included in a study on competition in financial services led by Rob Nicholls, a research fellow at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation.  more>>


Removal of four pillar policy needed - Money Management

25 August 2015

The four pillar policy needs to be removed to help retail banking competition, the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) believes. CIFR's "Competition in Financial Services" report, released today, found policy to date prioritises stability to the detriment of effective competition.  more>>


Four pillars policy is killing innovation: research - Financial Standard

25 August 2015

Australia's four pillars policy has had its time and it needs to go because it is hindering innovation and leading to poor consumer outcomes, the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) found. The research report 'Competition in financial services' acknowledges that the policy made sense prior to the global financial crisis (GFC) because it prevented major players to merge with each other. "But the unintended consequences of the policy in a post GFC environment have been deep vertical and horizontal integration," CIFR research fellow Rob Nicholls said.  more>>


Break the Four Pillars for better consumer outcomes - CIFR

25 August 2015

Study recommends removal of four pillars policy and other measures to improve consumer outcomes and loyalty. CIFR has today released study on competition in financial services which links the ‘four pillars’ policy in Australia’s retail banking sector with poor consumer outcomes.  more>>


Axe the four pillars banking policy, says CIFR report - The Australian

25 August 2015

A major research house has called for the axing of the “four pillars” policy, arguing that compet­ition is being harmed by deterring entrants into the retail banking sector and entrenching the big four lenders’ too-big-to-fail ­status.   more>>


Banks reject call for account number portability as too expensive - Financial Review

25 August 2015

Competition in retail banking could be enhanced by allowing customers to keep their bank account number if they switch banks, like they would a mobile phone number, a new report by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation says. But the recommendation was dismissed swiftly by the banks as being impractical and too costly.  more>>


Yuan’s fall may hit Australia’s education, property sectors - The Australian

14 August 2015

Investors should not underestimate the fallout from China’s sharemarket crash, as it could compound a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy, prompting further currency ­devaluation that may have ­negative implications for Australia’s buoyant property market. Following three straight days of managed devaluation of the yuan, Chinese officials yesterday said there was no reason for the currency to fall further. But Maryland University finance professor Albert Kyle said the devaluation was part of a policy response to China’s weakening economic growth and stockmarket crash, and there could be more to come.   more>>


The three problems facing banking systems - AB+F

14 August 2015

While imposing stringent new capital requirements on banks is a good start, there are a number of areas of risk facing the global financial system and regulators are universally seen as hamstrung by a lack of power. A new study from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) argues that while there have been many attempts to strengthen banking competition, resolution, supervision, auditing and valuation policies, less attention has been paid to governance, despite its strong link to risk-taking.   more>>


Capital raising not total solution - CIFR

14 August 2015

A study from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) suggests that on top of banks increasing capital, more can be done to improve their financial stability. The study says in addition to banks increasing capital, compensation structures for managers should be reformed as well as the structure of company law. The study also recommends more effort be directed to the creation and implementation of resolution regimes that offer a credible prospect of "bailing-in" creditors in the event of stress.  more>>


Regulatory options and debate heats up on high frequency trading - Business Day

14 August 2015

The debate about high frequency trading and its regulation heated up this week as academics and regulators assessed the affect of super-fast trading on financial markets and whether more needed to be done to balance fairness and liquidity. Professor Pete Kyle of University of Maryland is one of many academics that views high frequency trading or HFT as performing a useful service but functioning like a tax on investors. He believes the "most logical" solution for markets is the random processing of orders, rather than options such as a minimum resting time or batch auctions.   more>>


Regulatory options and debate heats up on high frequency trading - The Sydney Morning Herald

13 August 2015

The debate about high frequency trading and its regulation heated up this week as academics and regulators assessed the affect of super-fast trading on financial markets and whether more needed to be done to balance fairness and liquidity. Professor Pete Kyle of University of Maryland is one of many academics that views high frequency trading or HFT as performing a useful service but functioning like a tax on investors.   more>>


Regulatory options and debate heats up on high frequency trading - The Australian Financial Review

13 August 2015

The debate about high frequency trading and its regulation heated up this week as academics and regulators assessed the affect of super-fast trading on financial markets and whether more needed to be done to balance fairness and liquidity. Professor Pete Kyle of University of Maryland is one of many academics that views high frequency trading or HFT as performing a useful service but functioning like a tax on investors.   more>>


Markets problematic, but not rigged - The Insto Report

13 August 2015

The modern financial market infrastructure that connects investors with stock exchanges might give rise to some economically unproductive practices, but the market is far from being ‘rigged’. That is the conclusion of Columbia Business School finance and banking professor Lawrence Glosten and two of his colleagues, who looked at some of the allegations made by author Michael Lewis last year and published their findings in a paper in March.   more>>


Increased capital requirements alone won’t improve financial stability – CIFR

13 August 2015

While the move by APRA to increase the capital requirements of banks is a welcomed development, a new study from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) suggests a greater focus on bank governance and risk is needed to improve financial stability. The CIFR-funded study looks at factors contributing to regional and global financial stability, including the role of large financial institutions and the importance of sound governance.   more>>


Default members not so passive - Financial Observer

06 August 2015

Far fewer superannuation members were passively ending up in default funds through lack of interest or engagement, the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) said yesterday. Around two-thirds of members surveyed as part of a CIFR study made some kind of choice, either choosing their fund provider or their investment option, the body said.   more>>


Policy tweaks needed to get default super right - CIFR - Professional Planner

06 August 2015

A study by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) provides new insights into Australian default superannuation funds and their members. The study surveyed over 1,000 default super members and 28 executives from 20 funds to identify what default super fund members are looking for, whether executives have an accurate perception of member wants and needs, and how fund providers go about meeting those needs.   more>>


Default super engagement improves, says CIFR - Investor Daily

06 August 2015

Australians are becoming more engaged with their super, with most investors choosing their fund provider or their investment option, says the Centre of International Finance and Regulation (CIFR). A CIFR study found that around two-thirds of members surveyed either chose their fund provider or their investment option.  more>>


Most members actively choose MySuper: Financial Standard

05 August 2015

A study by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) shows about two-thirds of default superannuation members are actively choosing to enter MySuper. From the study 'Delegation, trust and defaulting in retirement savings: Perspectives from plan executives and members', it appears far fewer members than popularly believed are passively "ending up" in default funds through lack of interest or engagement. More than 1,000 default super members and 28 executives from 20 funds were surveyed as part of a broader research project in to MySuper default funds, led by CIFR research director Doctor Geoff Warren.  more>>


ASIC wrong about hedge funds: academic - AB+F

29 July 2015

A recent move by CALPERS to sell out of hedge funds globally is the strongest signal yet that the hedge fund industry is in trouble. Other big institutional investors that look to CALPERS to take the lead on investment strategies, have also fled the hedge fund scene highlighting an industry in crisis, according to Stephen Brown, a finance professor at New York University’s Stern school of business. Yet, despite what looks like an extraordinary move, Brown said the CALPER exit from the much-maligned asset class is simply to do with consistently poor returns relative to S&P500.  more>>


Self-managed super funds continuing strong growth - The Australian Financial Review

23 July 2015

Australia's self-managed super fund sector is an anomaly. It was not a planned component of Australia's retirement system and there is no other sub-sector like it in the world. And yet SMSFs now comprise about one-third of Australia's $2.04 trillion superannuation system and account for 99 per cent of all funds by number.  more>>


The future investment management - Investor Daily

21 July 2015

By the middle of this century, a demographically led wave of social change will have substantially reshaped the global landscape of the funds management industry, writes Centre for International Finance and Regulation’s David R Gallagher  more>>


Study finds Australian monopolies have better results - Herald Sun

06 July 2015

In research that is set to cheer Coles and Woolies and chill competition tsar Rod Sims, a study has found dominant companies operating in concentrated markets deliver substantially better returns. Uniquely for a nation entering its 25th year without recession, companies which enjoy a monopolistic position here are three times more likely to invest in innovation and research and development than their smaller rivals.  more>>


Blue chips have entrenched advantage: study - Investor Daily

25 June 2015

A new study by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) found a significant correlation between concentration and innovation. The study, authored by CIFR chief executive David Gallagher, Katja Ignatieva and James McCulloch, found that dominant companies in concentrated markets invest as much as three times more in innovation than those in lower concentration markets.   more>>


Study finds Australian oligopoly premium - The Insto Report

25 June 2015

The share prices of Australian companies that dominate in concentrated industries tend to show outperformance compared to the prices of companies in industries where competition is relatively strong. A study, “Industry concentration, excess returns and innovation in Australia”, funded by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation, looked at market concentration and stock returns on the Australian Securities Exchange from 1991 to 2007.   more>>


Dominant companies in concentrated markets deliver excess returns – CIFR

24 June 2015

24 June 2015 (Sydney) A study by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has found that dominant companies operating in concentrated industries in Australia are able to generate significant risk-adjusted excess stock returns. The study also found a positive and significant relationship between concentration and innovation with dominant companies in concentrated markets investing as much as three times more than those in lower concentration markets.  more>>


Franking credits matter, academics say - Financial Standard

10 June 2015

Dismantling franking credits could have detrimental effects for shareholders and for the Australian economy, academics for the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) argued in a research paper. "There is ample evidence that Australian companies have lifted payout ratios in order to distribute franking credits," the white paper Do franking credits matter? said, and added that "this behaviour is a key benefit from the imputation system, through contributing to more disciplined use of capital.  more>>


Dismantling imputation system could be detrimental to economy - Professional Planner

10 June 2015

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has released two pieces of research which find dismantling the imputation system could have detrimental effects for both shareholders and the Australian economy. The first paper is authored by Andrew Ainsworth and Graham Partington of University of Sydney, along with CIFR Research Director, Geoff Warren. It finds that the impact of imputation credits on share prices and the cost of capital is subject to much debate, with no consensus amongst academics.  more>>


Dumping imputation would allow 20pc corporate tax rate - Financial Review

10 June 2015

Dumping dividend imputation would fund a cut in the company tax rate of as much as 10 percentage points, but Australian shareholders would pay a hefty price. Abolishing imputation, which gives retail shareholders a credit for company tax paid, would save $19 billion a year, according to Macquarie University economics professor Geoff Kingston.   more>>


Treasury told to leave dividend credits alone - INFINANCE News

10 June 2015

As the government considers changes to the tax system, it has been warned to keep the dividend imputation system off the table or run the risk of hurting shareholders, the economy and super. According to the Centre for International Finance and Regulation's (CIFR) submission to the Treasury's tax review, removing dividend imputation – which only applies to Australians – would benefit foreign investors at the expense of domestic shareholders.   more>>


Dividend imputation ducks the tax review axe - Sydney Morning Herald

10 June 2015

The idea of scrapping or hobbling Australia's system of embedding company tax credits in dividends was a dangerous sleeper in the government's taxation review. The dividend imputation system looked like a great big honey-pot. The tax review's discussion paper estimated in March that individuals, superannuation funds and charities were claiming $19 billion a year in dividend franking credits, and that Australian companies were claiming another $10 billion.  more>>


Dismantling imputation system could be detrimental to economy – CIFR

10 June 2015

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has released two pieces of research which find dismantling the imputation system could have detrimental effects for both shareholders and the Australian economy. The first paper is authored by Andrew Ainsworth and Graham Partington of University of Sydney, along with CIFR Research Director, Geoff Warren. It finds that the impact of imputation credits on share prices and the cost of capital is subject to much debate, with no consensus amongst academics.   more>>


Franking's home bias welcome after billions lost offshore - Financial Review

04 June 2015

Submissions to the tax white paper have provided a timely reminder of the accumulated failures by Australian companies venturing offshore, as industry experts seek to debunk the argument that the influence of franking discourages businesses from investing outward.  more>>


Risky business lowers chances of systemic risk - AB+F

04 June 2015

A new study has found an increase in trading and investment banking could reduce systemic risk for banks in highly concentrated markets like Australia. This finding runs contrary to a common assumption that non-core business activities increase systemic risk. The study's counter-intuitive conclusion comes after years of bank scrutiny and calls for the world's lenders to separate their deposit-taking divisions from investment banking and trading, which are considered higher-risk operations, said Professor Fariborz Moshirian from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation.   more>>


Sole purpose test review urged - Money Management

03 June 2015

The universities aligned Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has called for a review of the superannuation sole purpose test to determine whether it is generating an optimal outcome in terms of superannuation savings.  more>>


'Machiavellian' bankers in firing line over scandals - The Sydney Morning Herald

03 June 2015

Chief executives of Australia's largest banks are ignorant of cultural deficiencies because their staff continue to overlook ethical breaches, a comprehensive study by Macquarie University into bank risk culture has discovered. It has also found that half of the staff in Australian banks believe remuneration plans encourage unacceptable risk taking.  more>>


CIFR calls for independent fiscal policy in submission to Treasury

02 June 2015

2 June 2015 (Sydney): Taking a view that Australia’s income tax regime is no longer fit for purpose, the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has advocated a broad-brush and systematic approach to reform in a submission delivered to Treasury this week.   more>>


In 10 years you won't recognise the university - UNSW

01 May 2015

Academics beware! A relentless and gathering force is laying siege to our comfortable ivory towers. You say you are well aware of the threat posed to academic funding by the declining economic cycle. That may be, but I think the winds rattling our tower windows are being driven by a far stronger and more enduring force.   more>>


CIFR announces CIFR/CMCRC Honours Scholarship 2015 Recipients

28 April 2015

SYDNEY, 28 April 2015 - CIFR and CMCRC are pleased to announce that five outstanding students have been awarded a CIFR/CMCRC Honours Scholarship in 2015. The students were selected on the basis of academic merit and the strength of their application and research topic.  more>>


CIFR announces the funding of 5 new projects

22 April 2015

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) is pleased to announce the funding of five new research projects, bringing the total number of CIFR-funded projects to 68. The research continues to inform both domestic and international regulators through the dissemination of numerous working papers, workshops and presentations.  more>>


The games we play: part three - AB+F

09 April 2015

Three large banks’ refusal to provide data on their home loans threatens the regulator’s efforts to promote the transparency and growth of the residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) market. The market provides cost-efficient funding to smaller banks and non-bank lenders, so fostering competition in the home loan market.   more>>


Event Highlights - CIFR FSI WORKSHOP III : The Final Report

25 March 2015

Sydney, 11 March 2015 - CIFR was proud to host a one-day workshop, the final in a series focusing on the Financial System Inquiry, chaired by Mr David Murray AO. CIFR CEO Professor David Gallagher welcomed the participants, who numbered well over 150 and included academics, economists, journalists, lawyers, and regulators.   more>>


FSI panellist pinpoints retirement shortcomings - Financial Observer

24 March 2015

The deficiency in retirement income products was a major flaw in Australia’s finance system and required more focus and innovation, according to a Financial System Inquiry (FSI) Committee panel member. The three criteria the inquiry assessed covered the system’s efficiency, resilience and fairness, FSI committee member Professor Kevin Davis said at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation FSI workshop in Sydney earlier this month.   more>>


Financial services on the innovation back foot - Financial Observer

20 March 2015

Opportunities for disruptive and transformative innovation across financial services were too often falling by the wayside although a growing number of firms, mainly new market entrants, were bucking the trend, panellists at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation event said last week. Talking specifically about the Financial System Inquiry’s final report and recommendations on innovation, the general consensus was the industry could be doing significantly more to increase efficiencies and improve consumer outcomes.   more>>


Independence the key to assessing optimal amount of financial regulation – CIFR

18 March 2015

A new study from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) contends that a true cost-benefit analysis of financial system regulation is difficult to achieve and proposes a new framework for assessing the optimal amount of regulation. The new framework introduces the concept of Independent Dimensions of Regulation (IDR) and measures the usefulness of a proposed regulation (or regulation mooted for removal) in terms of its independence from other regulatory measures.  more>>


Regulation assessors should have independence: CIFR - Money Management

18 March 2015

The usefulness of a proposed regulation or one suggested for removal should be judged in terms of its independence from other regulatory measures, an academic believes. Associate professor of economics at University of Technology Sydney, Dr Gordon Menzies, proposes the independent dimensions of regulation (IDR) framework, and gives the example of a central bank and an institutionally prudential regulator that both examine the same set of systemic stability matters.   more>>


Why Australia needs a new financial regulation framework - INFINANCE

18 March 2015

Australia's financial regulators may be institutionally independent, but failing to ensure that their methods are also statistically independent could see risks to the system fall through the cracks. This is the argument behind a new study from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) that argues for implementing a new framework for assessing the optimal amount of regulation required.   more>>


ASIC calls for product intervention powers - Financial Observer

18 March 2015

The corporate regulator has called for product intervention powers to boost its toolkit and allow it to better meet industry expectations. During a panel discussion at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation event in Sydney last week, ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said the regulator supported recommendations made by the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) that would provide it with product intervention powers.   more>>


Bank competition isn’t what it used to be - AB+F

13 March 2015

Bank competition peaked in 2004 and has since become less vibrant. The Murray inquiry’s recommendation on the issue is unlikely to help but there are ways to shake up the banking industry. One stream at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation’s (CIFR) financial system inquiry (FSI) workshop in Sydney on Wednesday covered the theme of competition. Among the speakers was Dr Rob Nicholls, research fellow at CIFR, who presented evidence that vibrancy of retail banking competition peaked in 2004.   more>>


ASIC wants power to ban products - Australian Broker Online

13 March 2015

ASIC is asking for more powers to police banks, and wants to intervene on products it thinks could hurt consumers. According to Fairfax, Kell told a workshop held by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation that the power to intervene in banks' product design and marketing would allow the watchdog to address systemic issues rather than focusing on individual banks and transactions. ASIC chairman Peter Kell has said the regulator should be granted powers for proactive "product intervention", Fairfax has reported.  more>>


APRA boss issues warning on competition - Investor Daily

13 March 2015

Mr Byres was speaking at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation workshop on the Financial System Inquiry's final report in Sydney this week. The APRA boss said the FSI's recommendations in relation to competition were "perfectly fine and perfectly sensible". "I don’t have any concern with the perspectives that the FSI put, which is [that APRA and ASIC] should increase the prominence that we give to considerations around competition," he said. However, as it considers the FSI final report the government ought to think carefully about the relationship between competition and stability, Mr Byres said.   more>>


ASIC concedes FSI finding, argues for more power to be proactive - Banking Day

13 March 2015

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has conceded it is not doing enough to protect consumers and wants extra powers to get the job done. ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said the organisation accepted the finding of the Financial System Inquiry that it needed to "take a more proactive approach in reducing the risk of significant detriment to consumers." Speaking at the CIFR Financial System Inquiry workshop in Sydney this week, Kell said ASIC would need a controversial new power proposed by the FSI if it was going to step up. The FSI recommended the introduction of a "product intervention power" that would allow ASIC to intervene without a demonstrated or suspected breach of the law.  more>>


Challenger sees big market for new retirement income products - Financial Review

13 March 2015

The superannuation sector could use new products to help governments solve the increasingly expensive problem of people outliving their super and relying on the pension, says Jeremy Cooper, who led the Labor government review into the super system. The introduction of "comprehensive income product for retirement" (CIPR), as recently recommended by the financial system inquiry, would also help address fears for retirees about the money they will have in their old age, said Mr Cooper, who is now the head of retirement income at Challenger.   more>>


Challenger sees big market for new retirement income products - Sydney Morning Herald

13 March 2015

The superannuation sector could use new products to help governments solve the increasingly expensive problem of people outliving their super and relying on the pension, says Jeremy Cooper, who led the Labor government review into the super system. The introduction of "comprehensive income product for retirement" (CIPR), as recently recommended by the financial system inquiry, would also help address fears for retirees about the money they will have in their old age, said Mr Cooper, who is now the head of retirement income at Challenger. The inquiry, chaired by David Murray, was keen for more superannuants to buy protection for "longevity risk", which refers to the adverse financial consequences of living longer than expected.  more>>


ASIC wants new power to curtail bad banks - Sydney Morning Herald

12 March 2015

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has urged the federal government to grant it new powers to enter banks and potentially change the design of financial products as recommended by the financial system inquiry. ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said a proactive "product intervention" power "should enable ASIC to be more proactive and allow for more-targeted and timely intervention". He also sought to assuage bank concerns that the power would be used to ban products and might stifle innovation.   more>>


Push for independent review of financial wrongdoing penalties - The Australian

12 March 2015

THE nation’s biggest financial regulators are pushing for an ­independent review of penalties for wrongdoing, arguing the ­industry’s culture is heavily linked to incentives and greater con­sequences are powerful. Amid heated scrutiny from the swathe of financial planning ­scandals, Australian Securities & Investments Commission deputy chairman Peter Kell said the penalty system needed ­“serious examination” to strike the right level. The government’s completed financial system inquiry labelled the maximum penalties low by international standards, citing how ASIC cannot seek disgorgement of profits in relation to civil contraventions.  more>>


Malcolm Turnbull slams Treasurer Joe Hockey's super retirement plan as a 'thoroughly bad idea' - Financial Review

12 March 2015

A suggestion by Treasurer Joe Hockey's that superannuation savings be used as a financial "shock absorber" during Australians' working lives, has been shot down by his cabinet colleague, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who called it as a "thoroughly bad idea". For the past week Mr Hockey has pressed for a debate over whether Australians should use superannuation for a first-home deposit or their education, despite near universal condemnation of the idea from the business community, the government's own financial system experts and two former treasurers, Paul Keating and Peter Costello.   more>>


APRA thinking hard on financial system inquiry bank recommendations - Financial Review

12 March 2015

The banking regulator has signalled it could support calls for bank balance sheets to be strengthened and has warned it is intensely scrutinising how banker pay could breed cultures that would potentially lead to another crisis. In his first public comments reacting to the financial system inquiry chaired by David Murray, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman Wayne Byres said the recommendations for banks to hold more equity, to increase their resilience to shock, and for the big four to adopt a more cautious approach to risks in their mortgage books, are "quite important recommendations, obviously" and the banking regulator is "thinking about them very hard".   more>>


APRA warns on home lending - The Australian

12 March 2015

THE nation’s chief banking regulator has issued a fresh shot across the bow of the banks, calling for a slowing of loans to property investors who are powering hot housing markets like Sydney and Melbourne. As the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority continues a review of bank lending, chairman Wayne Byres told The Australian he hoped investor lending growth would slow in coming months.   more>>


Bowen urges super focus - The Australian

12 March 2015

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has backed the Financial Systems Inquiry's recommendation that a clear objective be agreed upon for the nation's superannuation system, suggesting that the focus should be helping Australians enjoy a "dignified" retirement without depending on the pension. "I found this recommendation arresting in its simplicity," Mr Bowen said, adding that while many think that superannuation already has an agreed objective, in reality it does not. .   more>>


ASIC needs a ‘big stick’: Kell - Investor Daily

12 March 2015

Mr Kell singled out the recommendation of the Financial System Inquiry that ASIC be granted product intervention powers at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation workshop in Sydney yesterday. “We agree with the FSI’s conclusions that, if well designed, this power ought to enable ASIC to be more proactive and allow for more targeted and timely intervention,” Mr Kell said.   more>>


Bipartisan approach to prudential weighting, says Bowen - Banking Day

12 March 2015

The Treasurer and the Shadow Treasurer have compared notes on the report of the Financial System Inquiry and are in broad agreement on the fundamentals of prudential regulation. Speaking at yesterday's CIFR workshop on the FSI, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said the major political parties agreed that, as far as possible, their responses to the report would be bipartisan.  more>>


Fee debate disregards scale benefits - The insto report

12 March 2015

The proposition posed by the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) that fees in the Australian superannuation system were still too high was based on studies that did not take into account the wholesale status of super members, Chant West principal Warren Chant said yesterday. Speaking at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation FSI Workshop in Sydney, Chant argued competition in the Australian super industry was high and the fees paid by members were reasonable.  more>>


Single super aim would allow policy testing - Financial Observer

12 March 2015

Opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen has backed a key Financial System Inquiry (FSI) recommendation to establish a clear objective for superannuation as it would allow future policy ideas to be tested and measured against it. “I found this recommendation arresting in its simplicity,” Bowen told the Centre for International Finance and Regulation FSI Workshop in Sydney yesterday.   more>>


Behavioural economics, financial literacy, key to Australia's financial future - INFINANCE

12 March 2015

Financial System Inquiry (FSI) panel member, Professor Kevin Davis, has said that regulation should be based on the way that people act in real life, and not on the behaviours of the "mythical" rational beings described in economic theory. Davis, who is a finance professor at the University of Melbourne and Research Director at the Australian Centre for Financial Studies' (ACFS), explained that behavioural finance and economics have shown that real financial system participants are subject to behavioural biases. Speaking at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) event in Sydney yesterday, he explained that, in providing its recommendations for ensuring that the financial system is fair, resilient and efficient, the FSI panel took behavioural biases into account and decided to take a different approach that of the 1997 Wallis Inquiry.   more>>


‘Ridiculous’ to allowing first homebuyers to access super - INFINANCE

12 March 2015

Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, has slammed his opposite number, Treasurer Joe Hockey, for his suggestion that first homebuyers could potentially be allowed to take property deposits from their super fund. Speaking at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) event in Sydney yesterday, Bowen said that there should be a simple agreed objective for the superannuation system to follow – and it shouldn't involve helping first homebuyers to get into the property market.  more>>


Bowen urges quick action on mortgage weights - AB+F

12 March 2015

The Shadow Treasurer wants the Murray inquiry’s recommendations on more neutral risk-weight settings for mortgages to be acted on without delay but the prudential regulator seems inclined to wait on international developments. At a workshop on the financial system inquiry (FSI) organised by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) in Sydney on Wednesday Chris Bowen gave an early glimpse of Labor’s response to the final report that was issued on 7 December.   more>>


Regulation can’t prevent crises and misconduct - AB+F

12 March 2015

Bank competition peaked in 2004 and has since become less vibrant. The Murray inquiry’s recommendation on the issue is unlikely to help but there are ways to shake up the banking industry. One stream at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation’s (CIFR) financial system inquiry (FSI) workshop in Sydney on Wednesday covered the theme of competition.   more>>


Davis on Australian banks’ rego check - AB+F

12 March 2015

It seems unlikely that a once-in-a-generation financial system inquiry (FSI) could be likened to periodic servicing of a car but Professor Kevin Davis did. People may ask why another FSI was needed given Australia emerged from the GFC in good shape compared with many other countries. It got through the crisis “but not without a lot of help from the government,” said the University of Melbourne’s Professor Kevin Davis, one of the panellists on the inquiry that was chaired by David Murray.   more>>


Globalisation carries risk of financial shock transmission - CIFR

04 March 2015

A new study from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) shows that the globalisation of the financial markets presents a risk of financial shock transmission across countries. The study focuses on the 2008-09 global financial crisis (GFC), and examines its transmission to emerging Asian economies through cross-border bank lending. It highlights the respective roles of bank ownership and liquidity as mechanisms of shock transmission and finds that the liquidity channel is mainly responsible for the GFC transmission to the loan market in Asia. Bank ownership, on the other hand, plays a very limited role.   more>>


Regulators must aid digital financial services uptake - INFINANCE

26 February 2015

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has called for regulators to zone in on building sustainability and consumer demand in the digital financial services space. According to a CIFR-funded research paper, 'Building Consumer Demand for Digital Financial Services: The New Regulatory Frontier', efforts to improve financial inclusion with digital financial services could be wasted if consumer uptake is not improved. It states that the issue is particularly pressing in emerging markets, where digital financial services have the greatest potential to improve the public's financial inclusion.   more>>


Regulators urged to promote financial services - Investor Daily

25 February 2015

According to a statement by the CIFR, its research suggests digital financial services could improve “financial inclusion” but that the services required greater participation from the public. Professor Ross Buckley of the University of New South Wales, who spearheaded the project, said financial regulators “must work to minimise the gap between the services being provided by the market and what end-users need, want and can afford”.  more>>


Trouble picking default funds - The Australian

24 February 2015

It’s commonplace that the industry funds and the retail funds in Australia have long been at loggerheads over everything, from board representation to net long- term returns, but it’s taken a recovering investment banker to spot that they’re not even on the same page over how to progress MySuper — the national effort at a “low cost” default super fund.  more>>


New role for regulators in bulding demand for digital financial services – CIFR

24 February 2015

A report released today by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) suggests that efforts to improve financial inclusion with digital financial services could be wasted if uptake is not improved. The report calls for financial regulators to sharpen their focus on building consumer demand and making these services more sustainable. This is particularly important in emerging markets where digital financial services have greater potential to improve financial inclusion.   more>>


Twin peaks: regulation fit for export - AB+F

16 February 2015

Australia’s regulatory structure helped us to avoid the worst of the GFC, but having the optimal model in place is just a start when it comes to avoiding crises and market abuse. The papers in question, ‘Approaches to Financial System Regulation: An International Comparative Survey’ and ‘The Financial Sector Regulation Bill in South Africa: Lessons from Australia’, found that Australia’s so-called ‘twin peaks’ regulatory model is optimal for harbouring financial stability. This is the message coming from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) as it releases its latest round of research into financial sector regulation.  more>>


Twin Peaks model optimal for financial stability - Financial Standard

12 February 2015

The "Twin Peaks" regulatory model is the ideal approach to ensure financial stability, according to research by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR). The model, which pivots on regulation of financial services by independent entities - in Australia's case, the RBA, APRA and ASIC - has been credited for preventing Australia from feeling the worst of the GFC   more>>


Australia's Twin Peaks Regulatory Model Optimal: CIFR - Global Custodian

12 February 2015

Australia’s financial system regulatory model – the so-called “Twin Peaks” model – is the “ideal method for financial stability”, according to research from the centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR). The Twin Peaks model, which separates oversight of financial stability and market conduct into two regulatory bodies, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Agency (APRA) is optimal in maintaining financial system stability  more>>


Australian regulation model good for financial stability - INFINANCE

12 February 2015

Australia’s regulatory structure helped us to avoid the worst of the GFC, but having the optimal model in place is just a start when it comes to avoiding crises and market abuse. This is the message coming from the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) as it releases its latest round of research into financial sector regulation. The papers in question, ‘Approaches to Financial System Regulation: An International Comparative Survey’ and ‘The Financial Sector Regulation Bill in South Africa: Lessons from Australia’, found that Australia’s so-called ‘twin peaks’ regulatory model is optimal for harbouring financial stability.   more>>


Do not enfeeble ‘twin peaks’ as UK did - Business Day

09 February 2015

THE adoption of "twin peaks" in SA is arguably the most important raft of financial system reforms since the Union left the gold standard in 1932. Originally proposed by an Englishman, Michael Taylor, this system was first adopted by Australia in 1998. It consists (in Australia) of the Reserve Bank of Australia (the lender of last resort), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra, the guardian of financial system stability), and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (Asic, the market conduct and consumer protection agency).  more>>


Baby boomer investors told to be cautious - Financial Observer

03 February 2015

Typical fee structures encouraged “closet indexing” by fund managers, while financial plans were often generic and too risky for clients nearing retirement, according to a study released by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation. The study examined current financial planning practices in Australia and whether baby boomers were getting the advice they needed ahead of retirement, which was topical given the proportion of Australians aged 65 and over was projected to almost double in the next 30 years.   more>>


Retirement asset allocation under scrutiny - Investor Daily

03 February 2015

A new academic paper has taken the financial planning sector to task for providing advice that is often “generic” and “too risky” for clients approaching retirement. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) study, titled Agency Theory and Financial Planning Practice, asks whether superannuation investors are receiving “value for money” in terms of financial advice fees.   more>>


Baby boomers should take caution when it comes to fees and generic advice – CIFR

02 February 2015

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has released the results of a study which examines current financial planning practice in Australia and whether baby boomers are getting the advice they need as they head into retirement. This is particularly important with the proportion of Australians aged 65 or over projected to almost double over the next 30 years.  more>>


Planner fee structures encourage closet indexing: study - Money Management

02 February 2015

Financial advisers' fee structures abet "closet indexing" by fund managers, creating a clear conflict of interest between planners' earnings and their clients' best interests. Such is the verdict of a Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) study, which found clients on the verge of retirement were too heavily orientated towards growth assets   more>>


Benchmark Rigging to Force Culture Shift - AB+F

30 January 2015

Criticism that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is behind the eight ball regarding rigging of financial market benchmarks is misplaced. In fact it is playing its hand very deftly. Overseas, banks have been fined billions of dollars for manipulation of benchmark rates, traders have appeared in court and, since April, New Zealand’s competition regulator has been investigating whether banks operated as a cartel to manipulate the daily official setting of the foreign exchange rate.   more>>


Manipulation of Financial Benchmarks Ongoing - AB+F

30 January 2015

Despite taxpayer-funded bail-outs of banks in the wake of the GFC, banks continue to manipulate financial market benchmarks. It’s the last straw for regulators and politicians tired of banks’ misconduct. “When you go right the way back, in UBS’ original settlement in 2012 with the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) there was an acceptance that there was attempted manipulation of the interest rate benchmark in Sydney which prompted the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) investigation,” said Professor Justin O’Brien of the University of New South Wales.   more>>


The Background to Benchmark Rigging - AB+F

28 January 2015

The ongoing investigations into manipulation of Australian financial market benchmarks could uncover far more egregious behaviour than the recent financial planning scandals. Justin O’Brien, professor of corporate law at the University of New South Wales, visiting professor at Harvard University, and a researcher for the Centre for International Finance and Regulation, is a respected international analyst on regulatory dynamics.   more>>


MySuper aids product innovation - Financial Observer

14 January 2015

MySuper has proven to be a catalyst for re-evaluation and change in the financial services industry through separating out default members to allow their needs to be explicitly addressed, a Centre for International Finance and Regulation report has found. The findings of the report, “MySuper: A Stage in an Evolutionary Process”, were based on interviews with 28 executives from 20 Australian superannuation fund providers about the MySuper regulatory framework governing default retirement funds, which fund providers were required to implement at the beginning of 2014.  more>>


MySuper puts fund members first - Finsia

13 January 2015

New research has revealed that Australian superannuation fund executives have developed a renewed focus on member interests since MySuper came into effect. The research paper, MySuper: A Stage in an Evolutionary Process, which was conducted by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR), interviewed 28 executives from 20 super fund providers with default offerings to discover how the industry has reacted to MySuper and found that member interests are top of mind. "A key finding relates to the sense of purpose and motivation conveyed by the industry, which appears to be evolving towards a better alignment with perceived member interests," states the paper.  more>>


MySuper put spotlight on member outcomes - Financial Standard

13 January 2015

MySuper has put greater emphasis on the retirement outcomes, focused product providers on the needs of disengaged members and promoted widespread innovation, according to a new report by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR). Researchers from the CIFR conducted in-depth interviews with 28 executives from 20 Australian superannuation fund providers to investigate their response to the MySuper regulatory framework governing default retirement savings funds.  more>>


Advice cost impeding tailored MySuper solutions - Money Management

13 January 2015

The high cost of financial advice is hindering superannuation funds from tailoring their MySuper products to their members' needs. This is the view of Centre for International Finance and Regulation research director Dr Geoff Warren, who said super fund executives would like to get members engaged via financial advice and are investing in advice to do this.  more>>


Closing money remitters' accounts equals financial exclusion - Banking Day

18 December 2014

The remittance industry provides international money transfer services for migrant workers and others looking to send relatively small amounts of money overseas, but is under threat of "unintended consequences" from too-stringent regulation and stingy Australian banks, a new research paper suggests.  more>>


Financial System Inquiry

12 December 2014

CALL FOR PROPOSALS - CIFR is calling for research proposals that directly examine the issues and recommendations identified in the FSI Final Report. Academics from consortium member universities, with relevant expertise and experience, are invited to submit research proposals.  more>>


Funds not as true to label as they think - IO&C

30 November 2014

A recent study has raised questions about whether asset consultants and investors can rely on what fund managers tell them about how they manage equity portfolios. A paper by three Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) researchers examined how well Australian equity managers complied with their stated portfolio characteristics – the number of stocks held, the portfolios’ tracking error and the turnover of stocks in the portfolio. The study was done by Dr Zie Chen, a CIFR research fellow, Professor David Gallagher, chief executive officer of the CIFR and Dr Camille Schmidt, a CIFR post doctoral researcher. It looked at the fund managers’ responses and checked daily transactions and monthly equity holdings.  more>>


Finding a moral compass - The Australian

26 November 2014

Last week, when ANZ disclosed it had put seven traders on gardening leave pending further inquiries, it underlined the ethical failings of the local banking culture which mirrors the failings so evident throughout the world. The profile given to CBA’s ¬financial advice snafus is just another part of the same cultural abyss that seems to affect the banking industry and is a key element of the inquiry into the ¬financial system.   more>>


Harper review stands ground on misuse of market power rules - Australian Financial Review

26 November 2014

The Abbott government’s competition policy review panel migh change its draft recommendations in response to hundreds of submissions, review chair Ian Harper said. But the chances it will scrap a proposed overhaul of misuse of market power provisions look slim, despite strong objections from big business, the dominant retailers and many lawyers. “Section 46 [on misuse of market power] is the only section in the act which draws attention to the impact on competitors, not competition itself,” Mr Harper said at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation competition law symposium.   more>>


Four pillars creating regulatory blind spot - AB+F

26 November 2014

The competition inquiry and the financial system inquiry (FSI) will have their work cut out trying to get the right balance between competition law and financial regulation, an academic has warned. Dr Rob Nicholls of University of New South Wales is a research fellow on a project for the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR). The project looks specifically at the intersection between competition law and the regulation of banking and financial services and how to get the balance right in the context of the inquiries being chaired by Professor Ian Harper and David Murray.  more>>


Competition not an end in itself: Harper - AB+F

26 November 2014

Smaller lenders that don’t consider the financial system inquiry’s (FSI) final report paid sufficient attention to competition in banking shouldn’t look to the competition inquiry to come to their rescue. The chairman of the government’s competition inquiry, Professor Ian Harper, is very clear about the benefits that good competition can bring in terms of consumer choice, efficiency and innovation and how that feeds into Australia’s productivity which he said needs to improve substantially.  more>>


Expect huge BBSW fines for banks - AB+F

24 November 2014

The banks being investigated for manipulation of financial market benchmark rates could face huge fines, possibly as much as 10 per cent of their revenue, when the competition watchdog enters the fray. Since mid-2012 the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has been investigating possible rigging of the Australian bank bill benchmark, known as the bank bill swap rate (BBSW), by the 14 banks that previously formed the panel that determined the official rate each day.   more>>


ACCC, ASIC probe rate-trading cartels - Australian Financial Review

22 November 2014

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has branded a potential bank cartel as the “elephant in the room” and has called in the ­competition regulator to help ­investigate a rate-rigging scandal. The ACCC, which monitors anti-competitive behaviour, confirmed on Friday that it was investigating “a number of matters in the financial ­sector” but said it would not comment further while they were ongoing.  more>>


New research examines whether funds are true to label

18 November 2014

New research funded by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) shows the portfolio strategies employed by Australian equity fund managers do not always accurately reflect their stated investment philosophy.   more>>


Investment strategies mismatched with fund managers’ philosophies - Money Management

18 November 2014

Portfolio strategies used by equity fund managers in Australia do not always match their stated investment philosophies, new research by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) reveals.   more>>


Managers need to take the long-term view of their big clients - IO&C

03 November 2014

The investment management industry is, very slowly, raising its eyes from its short-termism to take on a long-term perspective. But David Neal thinks fund managers need to move faster. Otherwise, he says, those investors taking a long-term view, which are increasingly moving to internal funds management and becoming more professional, will do it themselves. Neal, the managing director of Australia’s largest long-term investor – the Future Fund – gave this warning at a seminar in Melbourne last week, organised by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) which launched, a three-paper, 140-page study of institutional investors’ perspectives on long-term investing by its research director, Geoff Warren.  more>>


Long-term investment advantages revealed - INFINANCE

30 October 2014

Investors who focus on the long term open themselves up to growth possibilities that their counterparts with a short-term focus ignore. That may come as no surprise to experienced finance professionals, but the problem of short-termism in financial markets still exists, says the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR). In an effort to counter this issue, it has released new research into the issue of long-term investing.   more>>


CIFR outlines steps to achieve long-term investing - The Insto Report

30 October 2014

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has laid out a road map for institutional investors to steer organisations towards longer time horizons for investing. In the last of a series of papers on long-term investing, the centre identified four building blocks that help in structuring a transformation to longer horizons.   more>>


Future Fund outshines on ‘long-term' - Investor Daily

29 October 2014

An analysis of the ‘guiding principles’ of Australia’s largest investment houses has revealed some players are more committed to long-term investing than others. Centre for International Finance and Regulation research director Dr Geoff Warren yesterday released three working papers in collaboration with the Future Fund.   more>>


Incorrect assumptions the danger of long-term investment - Money Management

29 October 2014

Investors who are in it for the long-haul can exploit opportunities arising from short-term investors’ actions, but risk making investments based on poor forecasts, a new research claims. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) conducted three research papers investigating issues surrounding long-term investment, following claims that Australian investors were excessively focused on short-term opportunities.   more>>


Opportunities and risks in long-term investment: Super Review

29 October 2014

Australians who take a long-term approach to their investment strategies can take advantage of opportunities arising from the actions of short-term investors, but it is not without risk, new research claims. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) conducted three research papers investigating issues surrounding long-term investment, following claims that Australian investors were excessively focused on short-term opportunities.  more>>


Countering short-termism in financial markets with a long-term approach - CIFR

29 October 2014

New research released by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) may help to redress the so-called problem of short-termism in the financial markets by offering insights into how institutional investors might successfully adopt a long-term approach. The research also provides unique insight into the investment strategies deployed by the Future Fund, describing how the Fund works towards its long-term objectives.  more>>


Higher wholesale funding costs may threaten banks’ health – CIFR

15 October 2014

A study released today by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) shows how a financial crisis in one country can ‘infect’ the banking system of another by raising the cost of wholesale funds.  more>>


Equity the best bank stabiliser - Banking Day

15 October 2014

The call for equity as the buffer in banking received a boost from Stephen King, co-director of the Business Policy Forum, in a speech at Monash University yesterday. King's view chimes with the chief theme of David Murray’s financial system inquiry and its preliminary work. King was a lead on a recent study by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation. Speaking yesterday, he said: "We were able to show that some policies, such as minimum equity requirements, can stabilise the banking sector, while ad hoc policies, such as debt guarantees or bailouts, can destabilise  more>>


Murray gets academic input on bank equity - The Australian Financial Review

15 October 2014

Two of Australia’s leading financial economists have provided David Murray with the intellectual firepower to justify lifting bank equity levels to protect the financial system, showing targeting capital is a better policy than government guarantees of bank debt. The financial system inquiry, which will report to Treasurer Joe Hockey next month, is considering how to protect taxpayers from bank failures that might arise because Australia is an importer of capital, meaning local banks rely on offshore funding.   more>>


Academic warns stricter rules would increase small lender risk - The Australian

15 October 2014

A LEADING academic on banking competition has warned that slugging the big four banks with stricter capital rules would increase the risk of failures among other lenders as the market became more lucrative to smaller players. “It’s pretty clear, if you put restrictions just on the big banks, you would expect to get increased competition coming from smaller institutions,” said Stephen King, the co-author of a new paper for the Centre for International ¬Finance and Regulation (CIFR).   more>>


Higher wholesale funding costs may threaten banks’ health, CIFR study - Banking Business Review

15 October 2014

A study released today by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) shows how a financial crisis in one country can ‘infect’ the banking system of another by raising the cost of wholesale funds. The study also explores the impact of various policy outcomes. This will be of relevance for the development of government policy for dealing with financial firms facing potential insolvency. Significantly, the policy measures of the last six years have been found to have varying success. A debt guarantee, such as that introduced in 2008, may temporarily allay fears of bank failure. However, an excess reliance on an artificially low price of debt may subsequently distort the banks' funding mix and magnify potential future losses.   more>>


Super ‘not a priority’ for young adults - Investor Daily

08 October 2014

Only one third of young adults consider themselves informed about superannuation, according to a new Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) study. The study, involving 994 young adult super fund members and commissioned by CIFR, looked at knowledge, behaviour and attitudes towards super in the 25-34 age group.  more>>


Superannuation: the young and the disengaged - INFINANCE

08 October 2014

Almost two-thirds of 25 to 34 year-olds don't know the age at which they can get their hands on their super nest eggs, while only a third bother to read their statements. These are just two of the key findings of a Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) and University of Melbourne study into young adults' knowledge, behaviour and attitudes when it comes to superannuation.  more>>


Young workers most affected by missing super - Financial Observer

08 October 2014

Unpaid compulsory superannuation payments are impacting on younger generations more than anyone else, new data has revealed. Research commissioned by Cbus, AustralianSuper and REST, and conducted by research house Tria Partners, found employer non-contributions amounted to $2.5 billion of missing superannuation each year.   more>>


Not so super: Gen Y turn a blind eye to retirement - New Daily

07 October 2014

Almost no young Australians have a plan for their retirement, with most unlikely to even know how much they have in superannuation, according to a survey published this week by academics from the University of Melbourne. The research project – led by law expert Ian Ramsay – surveyed 994 Australians aged between 25 and 34 and found that most respondents did not even look at their periodic super statements.  more>>


Do you know more about super than your kids? - Financial Review

07 October 2014

Time may be on their side when it comes to building a nest egg, but most young Australian don’t seem to understand even the basics of the superannuation system. More than half of the Australians aged 25 to 34 failed a quiz on the basics of super, with most respondents unaware of when they can access their superannuation or the definition of investment options, a survey by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation found.   more>>


Generation Y in dark on super - Herald Sun

07 October 2014

POP financial quiz: at what age can workers born after July 1964 have access to their superannuation? Don’t know? Join the queue, particularly if you’re a young worker. Gen Y is largely ignorant about basic details of their superannuation, according to research by the University of Melbourne. Two-thirds are unable to say at what age they will be able to access their retirement nest egg   more>>


Young Aussies super-unaware - Money Management

07 October 2014

Many young Australians remain unaware of the basics of superannuation, with almost two thirds in the dark on the age of super access, and the definition of investment options. That was the finding of a study by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR), which found super members aged 25-34 have very low knowledge on the basics of super.   more>>


CIFR-funded Research Shows Australian Young Adults are Unengaged By Super

07 October 2014

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) released the results of a co-funded study into attitudes towards superannuation among young adults in Australia. The study was co-funded by CIFR and The University of Melbourne, and was led by Professor Ian Ramsay of Melbourne Law School.  more>>


Lack of knowledge and interest in superannuation among young adults – CIFR - Professional Planner

07 October 2014

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) today released results of a study into superannuation knowledge, behaviour and attitudes among young adults in Australia. The CIFR-funded study surveyed nearly 1,000 superannuation fund members 25 - 34 years old and found that knowledge of basic facts about superannuation is low among this age group. The survey also found that young adults are largely unengaged by and uninterested in superannuation or retirement planning.  more>>


Big data lacks standards - Banking Day

03 October 2014

Poor data quality and lack of standardisation is holding back the financial sector’s ability to effectively analyse and reap value from big data. A study carried out by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) found that one single corporate entity had been described in 140 different ways (accounting for issues such as spelling errors and incomplete descriptions) on just one registry database, making it almost impossible to properly analyse all the data associated with that entity.   more>>


Super funds failing on rollovers - Investor Daily

02 October 2014

Superannuation funds are doing "surprisingly badly" when it comes to attracting rollovers from new members, Rice Warner has found. Speaking at a CIFR workshop in Sydney yesterday, Rice Warner senior consultant Michael Berg said fewer than 20 per cent of new super members take their other super money to the new fund.   more>>


Australia falls short on portfolio disclosure - INFINANCE

01 October 2014

Australia must up its game when it comes to its fund holdings transparency measures, if it's to meet global best practices and catch up with other developed financial markets. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has put this argument forward in a submission to the Treasury, which suggests that a better standard of transparency and disclosure for Australia's fund managers is long overdue.  more>>


Australian funds lagging on disclosure - Super Review

01 October 2014

Australia has been a laggard for many years on the question of fund holdings disclosure, according to Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) chief executive, Professor David Gallagher. Gallagher has made his views known within a CIFR submission to the Commonwealth Treasury which has called for a better standard of transparency and disclosure for fund managers "that brings Australia up to date with world's best practice".   more>>


Tainted capital markets block G20 agenda - AB+F

01 October 2014

Having fixed the problems underlying the global financial crisis (GFC), economic growth is now at the centre of the G20’s agenda but lack of trust in capital markets is a stumbling block to achieving that. The purpose of capital markets is efficient allocation of capital to productive parts of the economy, reducing reliance on banks, government and direct foreign investment in the process. Europe’s experience since the GFC demonstrates the market’s importance when banks are stressed and government balance sheets are stretched.   more>>


CIFR Researcher Presents Initial Findings on Implications of The Chinese AML to Bank Mergers

23 September 2014

"Competition analysis itself is unlikely to play a large part in the consideration of Bank Mergers in China" Associate Professor Deborah Healey suggested  more>>


Highlights CIFR Workshop II : Financial System Inquiry - The Interim Report

01 September 2014

Following our first workshop, which focused on the terms of reference for, and the submissions to the Financial System Inquiry (FSI), CIFR's FSI Workshop II focused on the FSI's Interim Report. Following the opening address by the Chair of the FSI, David Murray AO, the Workshop featured responses by leading academic and industry experts, addressing the 9 major topics covered in the report: Competition, Funding, Superannuation, Stability, Consumer Outcomes, Regulatory Architecture, Retirement Income, Technology and International Integration, as well as Opportunities in the Asian Century.  more>>


Murray criticises planner compensation - Investor Daily

25 August 2014

There is no current 'best practice' model in Australia when it comes to financial planner compensation and incentive alignment, argues FSI chair David Murray. Speaking at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation workshop about the FSI interim report workshop last week, Mr Murray said consumer outcomes have been a “significant focus” for his team.  more>>


Is Regulation Stifling Competition in Banking? - INFINANCE

22 August 2014

Australia's banking industry may appear to be competitive, but regulation may be creating a homogenised business model that prevents innovation. This view of competition in banking has been put forward by University of New South Wales Vice Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer. Speaking at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) Financial System Inquiry (FSI) workshop in Sydney yesterday, Hilmer noted that there hasn't yet been a review that has focused heavily on competition in banking.   more>>


More frequent reviews would sharpen the focus on competition, says Hilmer - Banking Day

22 August 2014

One way to get more competition in the financial services industry would be to conduct more frequent reviews of the industry with a focus on competition issues, according to Fred Hilmer, the vice-chancellor of the University of New South Wales. Hilmer, who chaired the National Competition Policy Review Committee in the early 1990s, said that of all the major reviews of the financial system the current inquiry was the first to have competition issues in its terms of reference. Speaking at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation's Financial System Inquiry workshop   more>>


Bankers Association calls for non-regulatory changes - Banking Day

22 August 2014

The banking industry will be suggesting that, when making its final recommendations, the Financial Services Inquiry "take into account a number of points" - most of which involve minimal changes to the existing system. The thoughts of the Australian Bankers Association on "where to next", as outlined by ABA chief executive officer Steven Münchenberg at a workshop convened by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation yesterday, seem strangely out of step with those of the FSI chairman David Murray, who was initially expected to line up with his former  more>>


Murray: Australia cannot avoid further bank regulation - Banking Day

22 August 2014

In a presentation at yesterday's Centre for International Finance and Regulation workshop on the Financial Services Inquiry, its chairman, David Murray, outlined the extent of his panel's discussions and hinted at what remains to be done.   more>>


FSI lacks the facts on fees, claims researcher - Investor Daily

22 August 2014

David Murray does not have sufficient evidence at his fingertips to make informed policy decisions about superannuation fees, argues CIFR research director Geoff Warren. Speaking at a CIFR (Centre for International Finance and Regulation) workshop on the FSI interim report yesterday, Mr Warren said there are three possible explanations for "why fees are where they are".   more>>


Pressure mounts to cut export red tape - Financial Observer

22 August 2014

Australia needed to knuckle down and change its regulatory framework so that financial services could be traded on a global scale, leading industry figures said yesterday. Speaking at a Financial System Inquiry event in Sydney, SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia chief executive Andrea Slattery said the Australian financial services industry could look forward to significant economic growth prospects overseas.   more>>


FSI chairman attacks politicisation of banking - INFINANCE

22 August 2014

The the politics around debt are not embedded in any serious study of our circumstances, Financial System Inquiry (FSI) chairman David Murray has claimed. Commenting on the political reaction to the GFC, Murray noted that there has been an urgent mood of taking action to avoid another crisis among global governments, leading to a response that has been about “more rules than principles”. “It seems to us that the political response to the crisis was simply to demand that this should never happen again, and require regulatory agencies to build a formula that makes sure it never happens again,” said Murray at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) FSI workshop in Sydney yesterday.   more>>


David Murray signals push to protect clients of financial advisers - The Sydney Morning Herald

21 August 2014

The "vertically integrated" banking model, under which banks sell advice to existing customers, is squarely on the radar of financial system inquiry chairman David Murray, who has indicated his final report may call for changes to the way banks remunerate advisers to restore trust with customers. In a speech in Sydney on Thursday, Mr Murray expressed concern about "excessive complexity" in the sale of financial advice and lamented the lack of a "best practice model" for paying financial advisers. He said the inquiry considered disclosure and financial literacy as important but insufficient to protect clients of financial advisers.  more>>


Rebuilding trust in financial advice will be key, David Murray says - The Australian

21 August 2014

THE Australian financial services industry can look forward to some strong recommendations for change from the final report from the Financial System Inquiry, the chair of the inquiry, David Murray, made clear today. Addressing the Centre for International Finance and Regulation in Sydney, he pointed to the issue of how to pay for financial advice as one that still needs resolution.   more>>


Super allocations leave ‘investors at risk’ - Investor Daily

13 August 2014

Australian super funds are falling behind global best practice on asset allocation strategy, leaving many pre-retirees at risk, argues a newly released academic paper. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has released the results of a study conducted by Macquarie University professors Geoffrey Kingston and Lance Fisher, which has raised a number of concerns about the investment philosophy of some Australian superannuation managers.   more>>


Super asset allocations leaving investors at risk - INFINANCE

13 August 2014

Australia’s love affair with stocks really took off in the 1980s but as some of those baby boomers retire, this 'cult of equity' is leaving its disciples with deeply flawed portfolios. While the global financial crisis (GFC) exposed portfolios too heavily tilted towards shares and sent investors scurrying into more defensive asset classes such as cash, term deposits and bonds, it seems Australians have been quick to forgive and forget. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) yesterday released results of a study into retirement adequacy, concluding that the current investment choices made within many super plans were not ideal for those immediately pre- and post-retirement.   more>>


Super portfolio mix putting investors at risk - Money Management

13 August 2014

Australian superannuation portfolios have been identified as an "aggressive constant mix", leaving investors in the pre- and post-retirement stages at risk, research revealed. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) funded a study into the ‘retirement risk zone', which said 70-90 per cent of assets are allocated to growth assets.   more>>


Australian super asset allocations leaving investors at risk - Business Scoop NZ

12 August 2014

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) today released results of a study into the ‘retirement risk zone’, concluding that the current investment choices made within many super plans were not ideal for those immediately pre- and post-retirement.  more>>


The long and short of financial product disclosure - The Age

11 August 2014

It’s a case of buyer beware when it comes to purchasing financial products, with many people having been stung by the ‘small print’ detail, or in fact not really understanding how the products they’ve bought really work, or the associated risks. Some products are extremely complex in their design and application, and so steps have been taken to regulate there are moves to regulate the way they are disclosed; both in terms of the length and style of language used.   more>>


Post-crisis reform weakest where most needed - AB+F

29 July 2014

Poor risk governance was at the heart of the global financial crisis (GFC). New research indicates that subsequent efforts to reform this area have been weakest in the countries that most need it. Banks may appear to have ample capital and liquidity but if there are deep underlying issues in risk management and governance, they’ll land in trouble, said Elizabeth Sheedy, associate professor at Macquarie University’s department of applied finance and actuarial studies, who is leading research on the area of risk governance for the Centre for International Finance and Regulation.  more>>


UK lending still needs work, says regulator - Mortgage Business

29 July 2014

The head of the UK financial services watchdog has spoken out about the challenges of regulating a sector keen to get back to lending. In an interview with Professor Justin O’Brien as part of The Future of Financial Regulation series for the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR), Financial Conduct Authority chief executive Martin Wheatley said the UK lending sector is not yet as safe and secure as it needs to be.   more>>


Corp governance must play bigger role: Medcraft - Financial Observer

25 July 2014

ASIC has called for the industry to adopt stronger corporate governance principles, as it looks to take a greater interest in the effectiveness of current standards in Australia. At the last board meeting held by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), corporate governance and culture was a key focus of discussion, ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft said. And rarely we found that it came down to culture,” Medcraft, who is also chairman of IOSCO, told the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) symposium on market and regulatory performance in Sydney last week.   more>>


Product risk disclosure needs improvement - Financial Observer

23 July 2014

The financial services industry must lift retail investors’ risk awareness in relation to financial products and services, according to a banking and finance law academic. A study conducted by the University of Melbourne, “Financial Products and Short-form Disclosure Documents: Challenges and Trends”, analysed disclosure practices in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada.   more>>


Highlights CIFR Symposium: Market and Regulatory Performance Stream 17 July 2014

22 July 2014

The NSW Department of Trade & Investment (NSW DTI) hosted the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) Symposium on the topic: ‘Market and Regulatory Performance’.  more>>


Fulcrum fees reflect true performance - Financial Observer

21 July 2014

Fulcrum fees, which are regarded as genuine performance fees as they can only be charged if the return on a portfolio exceeds the benchmark, should be embraced and implemented across the industry, according to new research. The Macquarie University study, “Regulation of Financial Plans and Allocated Pensions”, revealed the various fee methods administered in financial plans in Australia remained complex, despite the industry’s shift to better transparency.  more>>


APRA’s conservatism puts it in front - AB+F

21 July 2014

Australia’s prudential regulator is widely viewed as conservative but that’s what has made it the pioneer of forward-looking loan loss provisioning, positioning banks to better weather the bad times. Most prudential regulators rely on the provisioning rules in the accounting standards which are backward looking. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is unique in its forward-looking approach to provisioning, said Dr James Cummings of Macquarie University who co-authored a paper on the subject for the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR).   more>>


Use tech for smarter disclosure: Medcraft - Financial Observer

18 July 2014

The corporate regulator has called on the industry to take advantage of the opportunities of digitisation in order to significantly improve current disclosure practices. ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft said the financial services industry had acknowledged the need for improvement in effective disclosure. “In terms of [disclosure] being clear, concise and effective, I think we’ve got to focus far more on the effective [side],” Medcraft told the Centre for International Finance and Regulation symposium on market and regulatory performance in Sydney yesterday.  more>>


Young people don’t trust super - Financial Observer

18 July 2014

Less than a quarter of superannuation members aged 25 to 34 trust the superannuation industry, according to a new study from the University of Melbourne. While there was an abundance of research on superannuation in Australia, the younger demographic had not been well researched, according to University of Melbourne Harold Ford professor of commercial law Ian Ramsay, who conducted the study. “We asked [respondents] to indicate their level of trust in the superannuation industry, and there is concern here – only 23 per cent of our respondents indicated that they trusted the superannuation industry,” Ramsay told the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) symposium on market and regulatory performance in Sydney yesterday.   more>>


Provisioning practices of Australian banks - Banking Day

18 July 2014

New research released by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation has shown how provisioning affects the quality and size of the Australian banking system’s regulatory capital base. Researchers James Cummings and Kassim Durrani from Macquarie University used data provided by APRA on 22 banks operating in Australia between March 2004 and December 2012  more>>


RBA, ASIC weigh in on disclosure debate - AB+F

18 July 2014

A research paper on the challenges of short-form disclosure statements led regulators to share their views on why Australia’s disclosure regime isn’t working. One observation in this week’s interim report of the financial services inquiry was that the current disclosure regime produces complex and lengthy documents that often don’t enhance consumer understanding of financial products and services while being costly to the industry. Andrew Godwin, a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne, presented his paper on challenges and trends in short-form disclosure statements for financial products at a symposium held in Sydney on Thursday by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation.   more>>


Medcraft questions asset-based fees - IFA

18 July 2014

ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft has flagged a "misalignment of interests" between financial advisers who charge asset-based fees and clients who are entering retirement. Speaking at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation symposium in Sydney yesterday, Mr Medcraft appeared to endorse elements of a paper presented by Macquarie University academic Professor Geoff Kingston titled Regulation of Financial plans and Allocated Pensions.   more>>


Big banks equipped for Basel III - Investor Daily

17 July 2014

Forward-looking loan provisioning has enabled Australian banks to prepare for the higher capital requirements of Basel III, the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has found. CIFR-funded Macquarie University researcher Dr James Cummings said the structure of the risk-based capital requirements could have been a concern, not only for the banks but also for the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).   more>>


Inquiry action to put pressure on big banks’ top ratings - The Australian

17 July 2014

The major banks’ top-notch ­credit ratings would come under pressure should the government follow through with policies such as “bail-ins” flagged by the financial system inquiry, potentially exposing consumers to higher costs, experts say. Amid concerns from bank investors following the inquiry’s interim report, ratings agency Fitch yesterday said it could act if there was an increase in competition from smaller banks, and a “bailing in” of creditors to curb the big four’s “too big to fail” status.  more>>


Research Spotlight - The Superannuation System and its Regulation: Views from Fund Executives

14 July 2014

CIFR has released a working paper summarizing views on the superannuation system and its regulation, collected during 20 interviews involving 28 fund executives over a six-month period to May 2014. The paper examines the structure and effectiveness of default superannuation (i.e. MySuper) funds. This is an output of a CIFR-funded research project being undertaken by researchers from ANU, UNSW, UTS as well as CIFR.   more>>


Culture needs to change, not regulation: ASIC

08 July 2014

Culture is the key to changing the behaviour at financial institutions, not regulation, said market watchdog chairman Greg Medcraft who is a new convert to behavioural economics. In an interview in Madrid last month, commissioned by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation, Medcraft, head of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, said the world’s regulators have taken a lot of actions to ensure there isn’t a repeat of the global financial crisis but “we haven’t really focused heavily on governance and culture.”  more>>


Corporate cultures at fault, says Greg Medcraft - The Australian

05 July 2014

Culture and governance are the key concerns for global finance, but they’re issues that companies themselves must address because they can’t be regulated, according to ASIC chief Greg Medcraft. In an interview broadcast by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation, Medcraft made clear that the problems at the Commonwealth Bank were “an issue of culture below the top management which needs to change”.  more>>


The Future of Financial Regulation - a series of interviews

03 July 2014

In a series of 8 interviews, Professor Justin O'Brien discusses the future of financial regulation with Industry experts on a recent visit to the Spanish capital. This is the first interview of the series.   more>>


Beware of switch to MySuper - The Sydney Morning Herald

26 June 2014

Up to one million members of super funds run by banks and insurers have been switched to a new type of fund that could produce returns 1 percentage point a year lower than standard “balanced” options. Studies have shown that this could cut the size of the retirement benefit by 20 per cent over 30 years.  more>>


Highlights of Conference on Institutional Corruption and the Capital Markets

12 June 2014

MASSACHUSETS 23 May 2014: CIFR together with the Centre for Law Markets and Regulations and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, proudly sponsored the second in an international series of 4 major workshops on Institutional Corruption and the Capital Markets: Financial Benchmark and Currency Manipulation, Enforcement Strategies, and Regulatory Redesign. The workshop aimed to assess the trajectories of the investigative and enforcement process across multiple markets and fuse detailed empirical analysis with recommendations for policy reform linked to a core normative agenda: how to enhance market integrity.  more>>


MySuper a chance to comply or innovate - Money Management

05 June 2014

A fifth of MySuper default products have lifecycle investing integrated into it, a proof of funds that chose to innovate under Stronger Super reforms, Mercer said. The firm added super funds applied Stronger Super and MySuper reforms either for compliance or a chance to innovate.  more>>


The high price of super - The Sun Herald

01 June 2014

On average, every fund member is paying $1300 per annum in fees, John Collett writes. Superannuation fees remain stubbornly high by world standards. Despite the introduction of superannuation choice in 2005 and, more recently, the ridding of commissions from "default" super funds, Australians still pay among the highest fees in the world. It is a debate that was recently re-ignited by the think tank, the Grattan Institute, which released a study into fees in April. The Institute found Australians pay $20 billion a year in superannuation fees and expenses, with each fund member paying $1300, on average, each year.  more>>


Australia's super fees high by OECD standards - The Sydney Morning Herald

31 May 2014

Superannuation fees remain stubbornly high by world standards. Despite the introduction of superannuation choice in 2005 and, more recently, the ridding of commissions from ''default'' super funds, Australians still pay among the highest fees in the world. It is a debate that was recently re-ignited by the think tank, the Grattan Institute, which released a study into fees in April. The Institute found Australians pay $20 billion a year in superannuation fees and expenses, with each fund member paying $1300, on average, each year.  more>>


Second Hong Kong-Australia RMB Trade and Investment Dialogue - Hong Kong Government

22 May 2014

The Second Hong Kong–Australia Renminbi Trade and Investment Dialogue, facilitated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Australian Treasury, and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), was held in Hong Kong today (May 22). The Dialogue was attended by over 130 representatives from corporates and financial institutions. Discussions focused on how corporates, financial institutions, and investors can take advantage of the latest policy developments to strengthen renminbi (RMB) trade and investment links with China, as well as to make use of offshore RMB capital markets to meet their funding and investment needs.  more>>


CIFR WORKSHOP: Financial System Inquiry

22 May 2014

SYDNEY 07 May 2014: The Centre for International Finance and Regulation was proud to present a comprehensive workshop on the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) on Wednesday 7 May 2014. The workshop provided a valuable opportunity for participants to present their views and perspectives to the Financial System Inquiry Panel and Secretariat. Academics presented an overview of their CIFR-funded research projects, highlighting the relevance to policy makers and regulators.  more>>


Research Spotlight - Long Term Investing: What Determines Investment Horizon?

16 May 2014

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has completed the first in a series of three papers investigating long-term investing by institutional investors. The research is being undertaken in conjunction with the Future Fund, with a project launch following completion being planned for late-2014. Long-term investing is a topic of considerable interest to both the investment industry and policy makers, with long-term financing currently on the G20 agenda.  more>>


Disclosure not enough, admits ASIC - Investor Daily

12 May 2014

ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell has spoken frankly about the ineffectiveness of the corporate watchdog’s reliance on disclosure. Speaking at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation conference in Sydney last week, Mr Kell said ASIC’s approach over the past 15 years has been “anything goes as long as you disclose”.   more>>


Murray says technology and demographics will drive change - Banking Day

08 May 2014

Technology and demographics are two themes that David Murray keeps coming back to in speeches made since becoming head of the Financial System Inquiry. He returned to them yesterday when addressing an FSI workshop organised by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation.   more>>


Examining the lenders of last resort role - Banking Day

08 May 2014

Among the panel discussions and presentations made in conjunction with the Financial System Inquiry workshop organised by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation was a presentation by Bob Officer, emeritus professor from the University of Melbourne. In a wide ranging talk, Officer examined the implications of the 'lenders of last resort' function of central banks in times of crisis.  more>>


Bank lobbyist questions FSI scope - Investor Daily

08 May 2014

The Murray Inquiry should "stop looking for problems" with Australia's financial system, argues Australian Bankers' Association chief executive Steven Münchenberg. Answering questions during a panel session at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation conference in Sydney yesterday, Mr Münchenberg said that if Australia was going to have a problem, we would have had it over the last six years.   more>>


Murray hints at focus on retirement - The Insto Report

08 May 2014

Financial System Inquiry chairman David Murray has repeated his concerns about the existing investment options for retirees. Speaking at a Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) workshop on the Financial System Inquiry yesterday, Murray argued the lack of suitable products was especially concerning considering Australia’s ageing population.   more>>


Greg Yanco to announce ASIC set to introduce code to stop insider trading - The Australian

07 May 2014

AUSTRALIAN Securities & Investments Commission market supervision boss Greg Yanco will use an address at the upcoming stockbrokers annual conference this month to warn about increased concerns over insider trading  more>>


Research Spotlight - MySuper: A New Landscape for Default Superannuation Funds

01 May 2014

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) has combined with Chant West in examining MySuper funds, the product under which all default superannuation balances are to be managed. The report is co-authored by Warren Chant and Mano Mohankumar from Chant West and Geoff Warren from CIFR.   more>>


Highlights CIFR FSI Exclusive Dinner and Panel Discussion

30 April 2014

Sydney 30 April 2014: CIFR and KPMG hosted a dinner at KPMG’s Sydney office attended by 60 senior members of the Australian financial industry, including government representatives, regulators, academics and other industry participants to identify and discuss a number of issues that the FSI might address.  more>>


Why China will come up short in the currency battle - China Spectator

01 April 2014

The internationalisation of the renminbi could be as transformative for global capital markets as the opening up of China's borders was for the global trading system, says Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Philip Lowe. Talking to the Centre for International Finance and Regulation conference in Sydney last week, Dr Lowe said the renminbi's internationalisation “has the potential to create a seismic shift in the international monetary and financial landscape".   more>>


Australia on track to be a renminbi hub - Banking Day

27 March 2014

China is likely to support Australia's development as one of the world's renminbi hubs, according to new research on the internationalisation of the RMB. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation, which is run by a consortium of universities, has forecast the potential for massive increases in trade-related and portfolio investment flows into and out of China over coming decades as well as increases in associated provision of RMB denominated financial products and services for trade and other financing, risk management and investment.  more>>


Asia-Pacific must band together: ANZ - The Australian

27 March 2014

ANZ Bank has urged greater collaboration by Asian nations, including Australia, on global banking regulation, saying a stronger regional “voice” would boost economic growth and reduce unintended consequences from new rules. The deputy chief of ANZ’s large international and institutional banking division, Gilles Plante, said the biggest impost to banks in Asia were the Basel III rules being phased in globally, but the region had very little input into the framework of the regulations. “I’ve always been a big proponent for having a voice of Asia,” Mr Plante said yesterday on the sidelines of a Centre for International Finance and Regulation event in Sydney.   more>>


Hurdles to jumping on renminbi bandwagon - AB+F

27 March 2014

On Wednesday major research about the implications of the internationalisation of the renminbi was launched but a subsequent panel discussion revealed the path won’t be easy. One of the opportunities for Australia outlined in the Centre for International Finance and Regulation’s report Internationalisation of the Renminbi: Pathways, Implications and Opportunities is for Australian fund managers to win mandates to manage some of China’s vast savings.   more>>


Internationalization of RMB could transform global capital markets: RBA Deputy Governor - Xin Hua

26 March 2014

The internationalization of China' s currency, the renminbi (RMB), and the changes that accompany it, could eventually transform global capital markets, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Philip Lowe said on Wednesday. Speaking at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) conference on the internationalization of the RMB in Sydney on Wednesday, Lowe said China's transition to a more flexible exchange rate will be gradual but it also has the "potential to create a seismic shift in the international monetary and financial landscape".   more>>


RN Breakfast this morning: Chinese currency forecast to become a reserve - ABC Radio

26 March 2014

China opened the door to foreign businesses wanting to invest in the country 35 years ago, but have always maintained tight control over it's currency and financial system. But with a new guard of Chinese leaders seeking to reform the economy and encourage consumer driven growth, a new report is forecasting that their currency will become a reserve currency rivalling that of the US dollar within the next decade.   more>>


RBA's Lowe encourages freer renminbi trade - The Sydney Morning Herald

26 March 2014

Freeing up restriction on trade in China's currency will be difficult but the benefits will be substantial, a Reserve Bank of Australia official says. China's currency, the renminbi, also known as the yuan, is not a fully floated currency like the Australian dollar. The renminbi is allowed to trade in a tight trading range set by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and only last week widened that range to two per cent from one per cent.   more>>


China currency liberalization to be a 'seismic event': Australia - Reuters

26 March 2014

China realizing its ambitions to internationalize the yuan is likely to be a "seismic event" for global markets, leading to large capital flows and perhaps a new reserve currency, a top Australian central banker said on Wednesday. Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Deputy Governor Philip Lowe said the process had some way to go yet but that Beijing had signaled its seriousness by last week widening the trading band for the yuan, also known as the renminbi (RMB).   more>>


Report Launch : Internationalisation of the Renminbi (RMB)

26 March 2014

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) released a comprehensive academic research report into the internationalisation of the renminbi (RMB) and its implications for Australia. Authored by Dr. Kathleen Walsh and Mr. Geoff Weir, both research fellows from CIFR, and Professor Barry Eichengreen from University of California Berkeley, the report includes in-depth analysis of the Chinese financial landscape as well as interviews with more than 100 Chinese and Australian companies.  more>>


Highlights CIFR REPORT LAUNCH: Internationalisation of the Renminbi

26 March 2014

SYDNEY 26 March 2014: CIFR’s research report on the internationalisation of the Renminbi (RMB) has generated widespread interest, both locally and abroad. The report was launched at a conference hosted by CIFR and the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, which was opened by the Deputy Premier, The Hon Andrew Stoner MP.   more>>


China Yuan Reforms Seen Pushing Asset Markets Into World's Top Two - The Wall Street Journal

25 March 2014

China is poised to accelerate liberalization of its capital and foreign exchange markets, a move that will turn the yuan into a major reserve currency within 10 years and catapult Chinese stock and bond markets into the ranks of the world's two biggest, according to researchers from an Australian government-sponsored think tank. A comprehensive report by Geoff Weir and Kathleen Walsh from Australia's Center for International Finance and Regulation argues that if new experiments with free-market finance in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone succeed, the Chinese government will expedite the opening up of its capital account.   more>>


Why the yuan's weakness is not an issue - CNBC

25 March 2014

Geoff Weir, Research Fellow, Centre for International Finance and Regulation, says the yuan's recent declines won't hurt its move to become a global currency.  more>>


Financial Market Developments Symposium highlights

26 February 2014

Over 100 practitioners and policy makers gathered to hear from five CIFR supported researchers on topics from mobile money, state owned capitalism, non-GAAP financial reporting  more>>


Jan 2014 Update: CIFR announces sabbatical program and honours program. Scholars and students are encouraged to review deadlines for program participation

16 January 2014

CIFR encourages scholars and students to review our recently announced Sabbatical Program and Honours Program. Deadlines for program participation are approaching.   more>>


CIFR introduces a Targeted Research Funding Model to identify and analyse the most important issues in the finance sector.

02 October 2013

Enabling key financial industry stakeholders, including policy makers and regulators, to play a much larger role in driving CIFR’s research agenda  more>>


CIFR hosts successful inaugural Symposium to showcase the research of six CIFR-funded projects.

20 August 2013

Researchers highlighted projects in the area of Systemic Risk.  more>>


CIFR CEO announces the appointment of key staff to bring academe, industry, regulators and government together.

13 August 2013

To ensure that CIFR plays an integral role in developing best practice policy settings through world class research and the dissemination of knowledge.  more>>


CIFR Commissions research on the way in which default superannuation funds typically manage contributions

19 June 2013

The proposed area of research centres on the way in which default superannuation funds typically manage contributions, and whether this is being done in a manner consistent with the objectives of investors. There are three research streams to be investigated, which could be conducted concurrently or consecutively. A summary of the research streams follows (further details are at pages 7 – 9 of the background paper):   more>>


CIFR Announces the Funding of Six New Research Projects, more of Australia’s leading academics are now supported in their investigation of key financial sector issues.

27 May 2013

Following the most recent CIFR funding round, our research program has grown to 31 projects.   more>>


Recent event: CIFR hosted a closed workshop with Professor Malcolm Sparrow of Harvard University regarding risk based regulation and its potential to minimise the unintended consequences of regulations in the Australian context.

16 May 2013

The purpose of this facilitated dialogue is to co-design a “demand driven” executive education program on Risk Based Regulation for the Financial Sector. The program will be held in November 2013 and will be designed for mid to senior level regulators and risk managers from the financial services sector.  more>>


Recent event: CIFR hosted regulators, academics and postgraduate students to a series of 3 technical workshops on macro-prudential policies offered by Professor Jean-Charles Rochet

30 April 2013

Professor Rochet is an internationally renowned academic on the question of global financial crises and related regulatory and supervisory issues. He is the 2012 President of the Econometric Society, a fellow of the European Economic Association, the author of 7 books and in excess of 120 academic articles. He advises the IMF, the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank  more>>


Recent event: CIFR hosted a closed session for staff of the RBA, APRA and Treasury with internationally renowned academic Professor Jean-Charles Rochet

23 April 2013

Discussion Topics included; the role of macro-prudential regulation; regulatory responses to the GFC in the European Union, United States of America and Australia and the current state of play; a proposed way forward for macro-prudential regulators   more>>


CIFR welcomes leading law firm of the Asia Pacific region King & Wood Mallesons as Industry Partner

17 April 2013

King & Wood Mallesons sponsors new Chair in International Finance & Regulation   more>>


CIFR Commissions research on the internationalisation of the Renminbi (RMB) focusing on a range of regulatory and policy questions.

16 April 2013

This is a jointly funded project with the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) and the terms of the proposed project have been settled between CIFR, SUFE and Treasury (China Policy Unit).   more>>


CIFR Appoints International Advisory Panel, convening an inaugural meeting

02 April 2013

Panelists will engage with CIFR's executive and Governing Board on its international strategy on issues within their areas of expertise and geography.   more>>


CIFR Announces New CEO, Professor David Gallagher, a Professor of Management in Finance and Associate Dean (Research) at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

14 March 2013

CIFR has appointed Professor David Gallagher as its new Chief Executive Officer. Professor Gallagher is currently a Professor of Management in Finance and Associate Dean (Research) at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.   more>>


Recent event: Luci Ellis (RBA) explains Financial Stability : What is it and What can we do to preserve it ?

14 March 2013

CIFR facilitated a opportunity for Luci Ellis, Head of the Financial Stability Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia, to speak with prospective honors students  more>>


Recent event: John Laker (APRA) hosted Prof Elizabeth Sheedy at a 'Meet the Researcher' seminar to explore regulation, governance and culture of financial institutions

11 March 2013

Dr John Laker AO, Chairman, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, proudly hosted a small, invitation only seminar with CIFR Researcher, Associate Professor Elizabeth Sheedy, Macquarie University.  more>>


Recent event: CIFR convenes roundtable with senior academics and industry professionals to consult on a proposed superannuation research project

05 March 2013

To discuss the research topic of whether superannuation contributions can be invested more effectively on behalf of future retirees.  more>>


CIFR Commissions Major Research into Global Liquidity Risk and Asian Financial Integration with Institute of Global Finance

21 February 2013

Led by Leading Finance Academic with collaboration from a multi-national team including a Nobel Laureate  more>>


CIFR welcomes delegates from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) to a forum to explore academic linkages.

19 February 2013

Following CIFR CEO Ros Grady’s visit to Shanghai CIFR hosted delegates from SUFE in a forum to explore academic linkages.  more>>


CEO Update February 2013: A message from CIFR CEO Ros Grady

07 February 2013

I am delighted to provide you with an update of the activities undertaken by the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) in 2012. There will be many CIFR Research, Education and Engagement Activities over the course of 2013, I encourage you to visit our website for all the latest news.  more>>


CIFR welcomes eminent academics to the Advisory Council Research Committee

22 January 2013

CIFR is delighted to advise that two of Australia’s eminent academics have agreed to become ex-officio members of our Advisory Council Research Committee for our first research proposal round in 2013. We welcome Professor Mardi Dungey and Professor Doug Foster to the Committee.   more>>


REMINDER: Call for Submissions

15 January 2013

CIFR invites interested academics to submit their Expression of Interest for research funding by closing date Tuesday 5 February 2013.   more>>


CIFR builds regional links with China Mission 2012

11 December 2012

In October CIFR CEO and Research Director met with academia, regulators, industry and policy makers on a mission to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.  more>>


CIFR releases revised templates and updated process for 5th February 2013 submission deadline

10 December 2012

At a briefing session for academics, CIFR CEO released revised templates, an updated process and FAQ's in preparation of the next submission deadline.   more>>


Recent event: CIFR hosts inagural Meet the Researcher seminar with Prof Justin O'Brien (UNSW)

07 December 2012

Sharing insights from his working paper, Professor O’Brien explored; Does the rise of State Capitalism strengthen or subvert markets? On what basis should State Capitalism be regulated? Is a global standard achievable or desirable?   more>>


Recent event: CIFR hosts breakfast seminar with KPMG Chairman, Global Financial Services Jeremy Anderson

30 November 2012

With KPMG, CIFR hosted a breakfast seminar to discuss global financial market trends and regulatory responses with Jeremy Anderson, Chairman, Global Financial Services, KPMG. Topics explored included; The state of the UK, European and US financial markets, the implications of Greece exiting the Euro-zone or a continuation of the muddle through approach; perspectives on the global financial crisis.  more>>


CIFR announces the funding of eleven more research projects

27 November 2012

Following the most recent funding round, CIFR’s research program grows to 24 projects.  more>>


CIFR announces funding for its inaugural round of research projects

25 October 2012

Australia’s leading academics tackle fundamental finance sector issues supporting Australia’s position as a regional financial centre.  more>>


Recent event: Prof Howell E. Jackson Harvard University "Making Financial Markets Work for Consumers"

24 October 2012

On Thursday 23rd August CIFR hosted a breakfast briefing with Professor Howell E. Jackson. Professor Jackson provided a briefing on the principles, people, politics and pet projects relating to the regulation of consumer finance with a particular focus on retirement savings.  more>>


Recent event: Prof Colin Mayer Oxford University "Regulatory Harmonization: a Cause or Cure of Systemic Risk?"

24 October 2012

In association with the Australian School of Business UNSW, CIFR invites hosted a seminar to discuss the impact of regulatory harmonization.  more>>


CIFR CEO presents at the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong

24 October 2012

to introduce CIFR and lead a discussion on major policy and regulatory issues affecting the finance sector in the Asia Pacific Region   more>>


Recent event: Dr Deniz O. Igan Economist International Monetary Fund "Lobbying and Financial Regulation"

09 October 2012

In association with the Macquarie University Applied Finance Centre, CIFR hosted a lunch time seminar to discuss the effects of lobbying and campaign contributions on the outcomes of the legislative process governing financial regulation.  more>>


CIFR CEO welcomes ASX BookBuild announcement

20 September 2012

“CIFR has a primary focus on market integrity and this initiative’s potential to improve the efficiency, fairness and transparency of markets is exciting. We look forward to seeing how it develops. “  more>>


Australia to host international symposium on an integrated financial market for the Asia Pacific

03 September 2012

Australia will host an international symposium on regional financial market integration in 2013, bringing together private sector leaders and regulators in the financial services industry from across the Asia Pacific region  more>>


Anne Cooper joins CIFR as Education Director

14 August 2012

Formerly the Deputy Director and Associate Professor of the Macquarie University Applied Finance Centre, having held senior positions at the CBA Anne brings much experience  more>>


Adnan Syed Muhammad joins CIFR as Chief Operating Officer

03 August 2012

Formerly the COO of an ARC Centre for Excellence at ANU, Adnan brings exceptional national and international strategic and business planning, management and reporting skills and experience.  more>>


Dr Kathleen Walsh joins CIFR as Research Director

17 July 2012

Dr Walsh is a valuable addition to the CIFR team and will have the important role of coordinating research activities.  more>>


Innovation, Finance and Governance: Balancing financial market innovation, complexity and integrity

02 July 2012

18th July lunch time event with Professor William Lazonick   more>>


Professor Brungs (UTS) on behalf of CIFR at Bachelier Finance Society 7th World Congress

25 June 2012

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research), Professor Brungs of UTS speaks on behalf of CIFR at Bachelier Finance Society 7th World Congress.   more>>


'The Government as a Source of Systemic Risk' with Professor Deborah Lucas

13 June 2012

Event held 4th July   more>>


CIFR CEO presents at the 2012 Annual Stockbrokers Assocation Conference

01 June 2012

Providing a briefing on CIFR's objectives, approach and substantial agenda.   more>>


CIFR appoints prestigious Advisory Council, holding its inaugural meeting on Monday 14th May.

21 May 2012

Current members of the Advisory Council represent the Commonwealth and NSW Governments, Australia’s regulatory agencies, industry and CIFR’s academic consortium.   more>>


AFR: Sydney potential to be promoted

02 April 2012

The education, research and advisory centre charged with positioning Sydney as the premier financial services hub in the Asia-Pacific region is open for business. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation, which has the backing of a powerful alliance of government, industry and university partners, will launch its first education and training programs around mid-year.  more>>


CIFR CEO presents at the Sydney Shanghai Finance Symposium 2012

30 March 2012

CIFR CEO Ros Grady presents at the Sydney Shanghai Finance Symposium 2012 hosted by the NSW Government Trade & Investment. The symposium was a demonstration of Sydney and Shanghai working together to strengthen their positions as financial services hubs in the Asia Pacific.  more>>


Chief Executive announced for Australia’s international finance centre

08 March 2012

Banking and finance law specialist Ros Grady has been appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive of CIFR, a consortium of leading Australian and international universities and research centres. She will take up her appointment on March 19.   more>>


NSW welcomes CEO for Centre for International Finance and Regulation

08 March 2012

Banking and finance law specialist Ros Grady has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney-based Centre for International Finance and Regulation. The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) will focus on world-class research and educational activities to help governments, regulators and the finance industry address challenges and opportunities in the international finance sector.  more>>


Calls for Expressions of Interest

23 February 2012

In November 2011 CIFR issued Research Project Guidelines, inviting researchers to submit proposals for projects consistent with the CIFR research agenda.   more>>


Australian’s finance leaders engage with Centre for International Finance and Regulation

22 November 2011

NSW Trade & Investment co-hosted an industry forum on 22 November to connect financial services leaders with Sydney's new Centre for International Finance and Regulation.   more>>


Heavy hitters join new international finance centre

22 November 2011

Investment banker Mr Peter Mason has been appointed chairman of Australia’s new Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR)  more>>


UNSW to host national Centre for International Finance and Regulation

08 July 2011

Australia's new national Centre for International Finance and Regulation could play a key role in preventing another global financial crisis, Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales Professor Fred Hilmer said today. The $41 million centre will be hosted by UNSW.  more>>


NSW secures Centre for International Finance and Regulation

08 July 2011

Sydney’s place as the financial capital of Australia has been confirmed with the announcement that a consortium led by the University of New South Wales will host the Centre for International Finance and Regulation, Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner said.  more>>


University of New South Wales to Host $41 Million Centre for International Finance and Regulation

08 July 2011

The Federal Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, together with the Deputy Premier of NSW and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, today announced that a consortium led by the University of New South Wales has been selected to host the Centre for International Finance and Regulation.  more>>


Sydney Universtiy joins new national Centre of Excellence for International Finance and Regulation

08 July 2011

Academics from the University of Sydney Business School and Sydney Law School have joined a consortium that will contribute to international efforts to avoid a recurrence of the global financial crisis. The National Centre of Excellence for International Finance and Regulation was announced today by the federal Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten MP, and the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner MP.  more>>


Push to strengthen Australia as a financial hub gathers momentum

13 May 2011

THE fund management industry is among the winners from the budget, with the government supporting key changes proposed by the Johnson report designed to improve Australia's standing as a financial hub. Assistant Treasurer Nick Sherry and Financial Services Minister Chris Bowen said the government would provide in-principle or direct support for nearly all of the Johnson report recommendations, including the introduction of an Investment Manager Regime, the establishment of an online regulatory gateway and the development of an Asian Region Funds Passport. It will also establish a Centre for International Finance and Regulation to foster innovation and regulation.  more>>


Centre to boost quality of financial regulation

12 May 2011

CANBERRA last night announced the setting up of the Centre for International Finance and Regulation to boost Australia as a regional financial hub. The move comes amid the acceptance of proposals in the report from the Australian Financial Centre Forum, headed by former Macquarie Bank executive Mark Johnson, including cutting the interest withholding tax on financial institutions borrowing money offshore to lend to local borrowers.  more>>






 
 
 
 

 

The Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) represents a strategic link between academia, financial regulators, policy makers and industry, promoting financial sector vibrancy, resiliency and integrity, through leading research and education.

CIFR receives funding and support from the Commonwealth and NSW Governments, and its industry, university and research centre partners.

 

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