Australia’s proposed financial reforms will boost transparency, investor confidence and efficiency, a major survey of Australian funds managers and others active in the financial services industry, conducted by RBC Dexia Investor Services, has found.

The survey broached responses to the Super System Review (better known as the Cooper Review), the Future of Financial Advice reforms (aka the Ripoll review) the Future Tax System Review (the Henry Review) and the Australian Financial Centre Forum’s report on the region (the Johnston Report).

The most important potential benefit of the combined reviews and reforms was seen as increased transparency (28 per cent of the 63 respondents), followed by increased investor confidence and increased efficiency.

Solid majorities of respondents thought the reviews would make Australia’s finance industry more competitive locally and internationally.

Respondents were asked what they thought would be the greatest barrier to the implementation of
these reforms. The greatest barrier seen was complexity of regulation (31 per cent). One in four
(24 per cent) were concerned about the sheer volume of the reforms involved, while one in seven (14 per cent)
worried that there might be industry opposition.

David Travers, managing director of Australia for RBC Dexia Investor Services commented: “The respondents to the survey have made their voice heard on the potential of these reforms to improve Australia’s financial system. The question raised is when, and perhaps whether, they will come to pass. It would appear to be a missed opportunity for Australia if the present political landscape thwarted the drive for change.”

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