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Your chance to question The Regulators

by Lewis Panther | 31 Oct 2019

 A spotlight on court cases and interest rates is turning FINSIA’s signature lunch into the perfect opportunity to ask questions of The Regulators.
 
Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe dropped more hints about another interest rate cut in his latest speech as he urged banks and firms to take the opportunity to do more business. 
 
And ASIC’s court victory against telephone sales highlights the way the corporate cop is taking a much more active “litigate first” approach to enforcement since the Royal Commission.
 
So it will be the perfect opportunity to hear from all three peak bodies next month in Sydney and ask questions.
 
Dr Lowe’s stance, which could be argued is a continuing of his jostling against the government, suggested a need for infrastructure spending as he promoted the RBA’s social purpose.
 
“Central banking is not only about finance and money,” he said at the Sir Leslie Melville lecture.
 
“Rather, it is about enhancing the economic welfare of the people we serve, primarily through achieving price and financial stability and maximum sustainable employment.”
 
Moving on to the investment climate, he referred to the need for “structural measures that give people greater confidence about future economic growth, so that they are prepared to expand, invest and innovate”.
 
That is “largely beyond the control of central banks. They are a matter for government and for business,” he explained.
 
“At each meeting of the Reserve Bank Board we are asking ourselves what is best for the Australian economy and for the welfare of the Australian people, he said, adding that the three cuts down to ¾ per cent were “supporting the gentle turning point in economic growth”.
 
And while he acknowledged the cuts hurt those who relied on income from savings, he insisted: “The Board is prepared to ease monetary policy further if needed.”
 
Elsewhere on the regulatory front, the ASIC victory against phone advice could force a strategy rethink, according to UNSW Sydney law lecturer Marina Nehme.
 
"The decision may lead to a review of the financial services industry’s practices regarding the provision of advice, especially that provided over the phone," said Dr Nehme.
 
FINSIA CEO and managing director Chris Whitehead SF FIN said: “The Regulators is certainly shaping up to be the most interesting we have held in its five years.
 
“Never before have the peak financial services watchdogs faced as much scrutiny as they do today.
 
“As well as hearing about their plans for the next 12 months, it’s a perfect opportunity to ask questions about what is happening when it comes to regulation and the economy.
 
“For those of you who aren’t fortunate enough to be attending the event, we’d like to encourage you to send in your questions and concerns. 
 
“We will endeavour to get answers.
 
“On that note, I would also like to reiterate my position on always being open to emails from members with questions and suggestions for FINSIA.
 
“After all, we are here for you.”

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