Case study: Blueprint for efficiency, resilience and fairness
In December 2014, the Murray Inquiry Report was released, following a year-long, root-and-branch inquiry into Australia’s financial system — the first in 16 years.
The inquiry considered how to sustain confidence in the Australian financial system, how Australia funds its future growth, competition and international competitiveness, and the current cost, quality, safety and availability of financial services.
The report contains 44 recommendations. It acknowledges the strengths of Australia’s financial system and identifies areas for reform, from bank culture to superannuation, credit card surcharges, taxation, financial advice, cyber security and crowd funding.
Mr David Murray AO chaired the inquiry’s independent committee, drawn from business and academia — Professor Kevin Davis, Mr Craig Dunn, Ms Carolyn Hewson AO and Dr Brian McNamee AO. The committee was supported by a secretariat of Treasury staff, financial regulators and the private sector.
An expert international advisory panel — Sir Michael Hintze AM and Dr David Morgan AO from London, Ms Jennifer Nason from New York and Mr Andrew Sheng from Hong Kong, advised on global technological change, Australia’s international competitiveness and offshore regulatory frameworks.
The inquiry committee met with more than 50 financial institutions, market participants and regulators from the United States, Asia, the European Union, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Many overseas participants acknowledged that one of the reasons for the strength of Australia’s financial system was the conduct of periodic independent inquiries.
The inquiry scrutinised opportunities and challenges and examined other evidence, including academic literature and exemplars of best practice.
A major focus of the inquiry was consumer protection and Australians were encouraged to have their say. The inquiry received more than 6,500 submissions in response to its interim report. More than 5,000 of those were on the issue of credit card surcharges.
The Murray Inquiry report is a blueprint for the Australian financial system for the next decade. The recommendations seek to improve efficiency, resilience and fairness to support economic growth and raise Australians’ standard of living.