Research report on Australian financial services industry

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The economic recession spiralled by the subprime crisis has called upon business organizations particularly banks and other financial institutions to ensure better risk management practices. It also calls for financial institutions to increase the level of compliance. These calls for a collective effort on the part of bankers, central bankers as well as policy makers to formulate policies that seek to ensure financial health and stability of these crucial institutions of the economy. The present study would analyse the financial institutions in Australia with regards to their structure and legal framework. Special emphasis would be given to the banking sector in the report that would also analyse the challenges faced by the Australian banks. Structure of Australian Financial Institutions The Australian financial services industry is divided into a total of nine distinct sectors which includes deposit based financial institutions like banks and other credit agencies, non deposit based financial firms, the central bank, asset investing firms like stock trading companies, pension and superannuation fund management companies, auxiliary firms like stock brokers, mortgage securities firms, life insurance, general insurance and finally the insurance broking companies. The financial sector contributes about 18 billion Australian dollars to the nation’s economy which equals almost 8 percent of the total GDP of the nation. The nation has a total of 30000 financial institutions which also provide employment opportunities to a significant share of the population of the nation that is being pegged at 700000 individuals which includes approximately 6.4 percent of the total workforce in Australia (IBSA, 2010, p.4, 6). Figure 1: Assets of the Financial Institutions in Australia (Source: Austrade, 2009, p.13) The figure above shows the total assets of the financial institutions in Australia as of the year 2009. According to the statistics shown in the figure the total assets of the financial institutions of the nation was 4431 billion Australian dollars. The compounded annual growth rate is being pegged at 11.8 percent starting from the year 1994. The financial institutions in Australia have also expanded their reach to across all the major and developing markets across the globe (Austrade, 2009, p.13). In terms of investment based funding assets the current value of the total assets in the nation is 541 billion AUD which is the fourth largest in the world. The figure is expected to grow to about 1979 billion AUD by the year 2015 (Austrade, 2009, p.16). Banking Industry in Australia As per the latest information from the Australian Reserve bank there are about 58 banks in the nation that includes 7 major banks, 7 local banks, 9 foreign banks incorporated in Australia and 35 foreign banks. The total cash and liquid assets including notes, deposits and coins apart from other liquid assets amounted to 3 percent of the total assets of residents in Australia. Trading and investment based securities accounted for 9.3 percent and 6 percent respectively. The loans and advances segment including all forms of loans extended to the retail as well as corporate houses in the nation amount to 62.2 percent. Other