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An Inquiry into the Australian Financial System 2010/11

Monday, 22 November 2010

The time has arrived for a root-and-branch review of Australia’s financial system.

I’ve been calling for a new financial system inquiry for well over a year. The Campbell Inquiry, which was the first major external investigation into the banking system, reported in 1981. The Wallis Inquiry came more than 16 years later.

It is now time 13 years after Wallis, given the ructions wrought by the recent Global Financial Crisis, and following the collapse of HIH Insurance, to undertake a substantial investigation into the architecture of our system.

Today I release the Terms of Reference for a new inquiry into Australia’s financial system.

Let’s make no mistake: we have world-class banks, and a very good financial system, but we can always do better. This is about more competition without upsetting the stability of the system.

The Inquiry proposed by the Coalition is part of our nine-point plan to improve competition in the banking sector.

It is about undertaking reform today to prepare us for the challenges that we will inevitably face in the future.

The Inquiry will call for submissions from any person or institution and may hold public hearings as it sees fit.

The Inquiry will report back to the Parliament by 1 November 2011.

We call on the government in good faith to go forward with a system wide inquiry that follows these Terms of reference.