Australian Centre for Financial Studies

The Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) is a not-for-profit consortium and facilitates industry-relevant and rigorous research and consulting, thought leadership and independent commentary. Drawing on expertise from academia, industry and government, the Centre promotes excellence in financial services.

The Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) facilitates industry-relevant and rigorous research, thought leadership and independent commentary. Drawing on expertise from academia, industry and government, the Centre promotes excellence in financial services.

The Centre specialises in leading edge finance and investment research, aiming to boost the global credentials of Australia’s finance industry, bridging the gap between research and industry, and supporting Australia as an international centre for finance practice, research and education.


Displaying 1 - 20 of 28 articles

The new Trans-Pacific trade deal has its sights squarely on financial services. Image sourced from

Growing our services industry will be the main gain from the TPP

Trade minister Andrew Robb must now "sell" the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership - he could do worse than to concentrate on how our services sector will gain.
Pending business for a new treasurer is a government response to the Financial System Inquiry led by David Murray. AAP/Sam Mooy

The unfinished business facing Australia’s new treasurer

A bulging in-tray of reviews awaiting response awaits Malcolm Turnbull's choice of treasurer in his new cabinet.
Large Australian banks are being required to significantly increase their levels of equity capital. Image sourced from

Explainer: banks are raising capital, but should we be worried?

Investors may not like it but Australian banks have been given little choice by the prudential regulator other than to undertake capital raisings.
PayPal is far more dominant in online payments in the US than Australia where traditional players have defended the market. Geoff Livingston/Flickr

Fintech might be hot right now, but banks are still winning

Venture capital money is starting to flow into Australian fintech, but success will largely be based on whether new players can innovate in areas where bank's aren't.
Alternative sources of information about an individual’s behaviour provide new opportunities for credit assessment. Image sourced from

What you need to know about peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) has the potential to challenge the dominance of traditional financial institutions like banks, but involves new risks for both lenders and borrowers.
It is true that our “headline” (or statutory) corporate tax rate of 30% is higher than that of many other countries. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

FactCheck: is Australia’s corporate tax rate not competitive with the rest of the region?

“Well, Jon, the Government’s about to bring in a 1.5% corporate, or company, tax cut from the 1st of July. That’s something that obviously we support, because (the) corporate tax rate at 30% is not competitive…
Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens has helped Treasurer Joe Hockey make his case for boosting the economy, but will it be enough? Alan Porritt/AAP

How to multiply the rate cut impact and unshackle the economy

This week’s Reserve Bank interest rate move surprised virtually everyone, bringing the cash rate to 2.25%, yet another historic low. Despite Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggesting the rate cut means…
With banks pulling back on lending to small business, the sector has had to look elsewhere for funding. Shutterstock

Small business feeling the lending crunch – and three ways to help

Since the global financial crisis, credit growth in Australia has returned. But while growth in home lending between 2008 and 2014 was relatively strong (0.49% per month), it was actually negative for…
Sharia-compliant products are growing in popularity around the world, especially in Malaysia, Iran and Saudi Arabia, with huge potential for growth, according to Standard & Poor’s. AAP/Lukas Coch

Hockey should put Islamic finance on his Inquiry’s agenda

A topic which warrants inclusion in Joe Hockey’s planned Financial System Inquiry – but probably won’t make it in – is the regulatory and institutional impediments to Islamic finance. The 2% of the Australian…
The market power of banks in funding will be challenged by the rise of super funds. Image from

Rise of super funds will shape Australia’s financial sector

How will the shape of Australia’s financial sector evolve over the coming decades? How will the demand for finance change? Where will the supply of funds come from? Can we be confident that available funds…
Dividend washing enables some domestic investors to essentially gain a dividend “twice”. Image sourced from

A frank debate - dividend washing and double dipping

There is currently considerable interest in the practice of “dividend washing”. This refers to the practice of investors being able to trade shares cum-dividend for a period after the ex-dividend date…
Super funds could fund research initiatives as well as provide good returns to fund members. Image from

Super funds: an investment vehicle for scientific research?

Can the growing stash of super savings be used productively to fund valuable bio-science and other R&D while still generating good returns for fund members? Such research is typically high risk, but…
Subprime ratings have come back to haunt Standard and Poor’s, which is now facing civil action from the US government. AAP

US government’s lawsuit against S&P puts ratings agencies back in the spotlight

Five billion dollars is a lot of money — and that is the amount which the US Justice Department claims were losses incurred by US banks and credit unions from investing in CDOs rated by Standard &…
Yellow Brick Road and Macquarie Bank plan to offer mortgages against the Big Four banks - but the market will need a lot more information than so far released. Sam Howzit/Flickr

Down the Yellow Brick Road - or up the garden path?

Wealth management company Yellow Brick Road and Macquarie Bank have foreshadowed some sort of relationship which will provide a “much-needed alternative for Australian consumers” with the first step being…
Does Australia’s company tax rate place a significant impost on local businesses? shutterstock

Australia’s company tax ‘burden’ is just a myth

Treasurer Swan could reduce the headline corporate tax rate from its current 30% rate to just over 15%, with virtually no consequences for government tax revenue with one simple piece of legislation: simply…
Might come back to bite: the Federal Government is developing a retail government bonds market, but there are structures that would work better. Flickr/Matthew_Roberts

Tail wags dog in retail government bond market development?

Most investors don’t know (or care) much about the mechanics of how the ownership of securities they buy is transferred and recorded in the back-office activities (clearing and settlement) of financial…
Deposit insurance has been mooted for Australian banks - but should we accept as given current banking structures which create too-big-to-fail banks? AAP

Should there be a bank deposit guarantee fee?

There is a growing chorus of support for introduction of a fee for the protection provided to bank deposits (up to the $250,000 cap) by the Financial Claims Scheme (or deposit insurance as it would be…
Pay it down - Treasurer Wayne Swan goes through his now-usual exhortation to banks to pass on today’s Reserve Bank 25 basis point rate cut in full. AAP

Reserve Bank cuts rate to 3.5% - experts respond

Amid the tumultuous economic climate in the US and Europe - not to mention the tumbling fortunes of our sharemarket - the Reserve Bank of Australia has followed market sentiment and cut the official cash…

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