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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.

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Articles (1 - 20 of 27)

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…
Despite the fact that Australians are getting wealthier, financial literacy is not increasing at the same rate. shutterstock

Millions of households are missing out on good financial planning

The wealth profile of Australian households has changed phenomenally over the past 25 years, according to a recent paper from the Australian Centre for Financial Studies. Thanks to increases in asset prices…
The big four banks have a well-entrenched sales culture. deepwarren/Flickr

The future of financial advice is set to remain conflicted

Reading between the lines it appears the panel behind Australia’s wide-reaching Financial System Inquiry believes all is not well in the financial advice industry, despite last year’s implementation of…
Small investors, such as those caught in Storm Financial’s collapse, need ongoing protection. AAP/Dan Peled

Resist efforts to water down FOFA, to protect all Australians

As public hearings into the Future of Financial Advice’s Senate inquiry begin on Thursday, it’s probably not overstating the case to say the financial planning industry is at a crossroads. With the F0FA…
Some pain, but the nation will benefit: Hockey’s first budget. AAP/Lukas Coch

Federal budget 2014: economists react

The Abbott government has laid out its path to reach a budget surplus near the end of the decade in the face of continued below-trend growth. Stopping short of making deep cuts in the coming years, Treasurer…
Consumers generally trust their financial adviser, even when the level of advice is poor. Shutterstock

The future of financial advice needs educated advisers

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann’s decision to back away from plans to repeal sections of the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms is not surprising. Recent comments suggest this may indeed be a complete…
The reach of global multinationals like BHP is driving a new wave of shareholder activism. Fiona Dorrell/AAP

Daly and Dunlop pave way for new era of shareholder activism

Sister Patricia Daly is in for the long haul. Last May, the New Jersey-based Dominican nun and shareholder activist, attended her 15th ExxonMobil annual shareholder meeting, again armed with the same resolution…
Redundancies at Holden highlight the fact that around three quarters of those retiring early do so involuntarily. Julian Smith/AAP

Holden, retirement ages and the myth of choice

Holden’s move to withdraw from Australian manufacturing draws attention to the significant problem of involuntary retirement in Australia. While the official retirement age is 65 years, there are many…
Being able to price climate risk more accurately will help mitigate its impact on the community. AAP

Getting to grips with climate risk

Whether you believe in climate change or not, there can be no doubt that the impact of extreme weather events is increasing. The combination of more frequent events together with the increased propensity…
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 www.shutterstock.com

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 www.shutterstock.com

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 www.shutterstock.com

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…
Size does matter: rather than be concerned about achieving a surplus or a deficit, the government should be focusing on how to manage its debt. AAP

Don’t forget the debt: there’s more to fiscal prudence than a return to surplus

Treasurer Swan’s commitment to bring the government budget into surplus in 2012-13 may be a political imperative, but is not good economics. The focus for prudential fiscal management should instead be…

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