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The strength of Australia’s financial sector

Australia’s financial services sector is the largest contributor to the national economy, contributing around $140 billion to GDP over the last year. It has been a major driver of economic growth and, with 450,000 people employed here, will continue to be a core sector of Australia’s economy into the future.

In Australia we have a sophisticated, competitive and profitable financial sector and a strong regulatory system.

The four major banks are among the world’s largest banks by market capitalisation and all rank in the top 25 globally for safest banks. They are also some of the most profitable in the world.

We have the fourth‑largest pool of investment fund assets in the world and the largest in Asia.

The World Economic Forum Financial Development Index of 2012 rated Australia as one of the world’s best performing financial centres, partly due to our strength in financial intermediation and our financial stability.

Australia has favourable economic fundamentals with annual economic growth currently double the rate of comparable commodity‑focussed economy Canada, higher than the average across G7 economies (France, Germany, Italy, Canada, UK, US, Japan) and above the OECD average.

While our financial system is robust, the Government’s actions in response to the Financial System Inquiry will enhance how well Australia is placed to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Our FinTech sector, of course, will play a big part in that response.

The accelerating rate of technological change and increasing penetration of mobile devices, combined with shifting customer preferences, will have dramatic implications for the ways in which financial services are structured, delivered and consumed. This trend is evident in Australia and is perhaps even more apparent in other countries in the Asia‑Pacific region.

We’ve witnessed the enormous changes technology has made to the way Australians engage with their banks—with the once ubiquitous in‑branch interactions now all but replaced by ATMs, online transactions and mobile services. Future growth of innovation in financial technology brings scope for even more changes, delivering new services and potentially generating new, lasting jobs.

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