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									                                                                                 FRoM THE CHIEF ExECUTIvE

Grasping the
opportunities ahead
Notwithstanding the threats posed by loan impairments in the economic downturn,
Australia’s banks have never been better placed for international expansion and
consolidation. But, we must ensure that our relatively benign experience of the
GFC doesn’t result in complacency and squandered opportunities.
IN thE pAst 12 moNths the global financial system                   Finsia recently commissioned Access Economics
has undergone a seismic transformation and Australia          to review the conceptual framework that underpins
has not been spared. The immediate effects on both            banking and financial services regulation in Australia
retirees’ superannuation savings and financial services       and, in light of the GFC, to provide recommendations
employees have been significant. Some industry                to guide the reform process. In essence, the findings
sectors will be permanently transformed.                      of the report, Navigating reform: Australia and the
     In the face of this, the resilience of Australia’s       global financial crisis (see pages 8–9), are that
economy and financial system has been keenly                  fundamental changes to the so-called ‘twin-peaks’
recognised by the international community. Indeed,            approach to regulation are not necessary, but the
Australia has played a significant role in the                balance between efficiency and stability of the financial
establishment of the G20 and in guiding the                   system needs to be recalibrated.
international reform agenda. Australia’s financial                  Focusing on the future pool of industry
services industry has been widely acknowledged as a           professionals, the Finsia–Chandler Macleod report,
benchmark for countries that are currently restructuring      Broadening horizons – investing in talent, was released
their regulatory institutions, notably the United States.     at the recent Finsia Financial Services Conference. It
     Australian banks’ balance sheets have been               examines the attitudes, expectations and experiences
heavily weighted toward domestic loans, particularly          of Australia’s financial services industry as normality
to low-risk households. Conservative capital adequacy         returns to the markets 
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