The Financial Services Gateway
The Financial Services Gateway (www.austrade.gov.au/Gateway/), designed to help international investors navigate financial services regulation in Australia, is an online guide to the registration and licensing requirements investors may need to complete before operating a financial services business in Australia.
Sophisticated and attractive to investors
Australia offers international investors opportunities in a strong and sophisticated financial services sector, ideally located within the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region.
Australia has deep, liquid financial markets, and is recognised as a leader in investment management, as well as areas such as infrastructure financing and structured products. Finance and insurance is the largest sector in the Australian economy, generating more than 10.4 per cent or A$128 billion of real gross value added in the fiscal year to June 2011 (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Cat. No. 5204.0 – Australian System of National Accounts, 2010-11)
Resilience during the financial crisis
The strength of the Australian financial services sector is evidenced by the resilience of the Australian economy. Australia was one of the world’s best-performing economies during the 2008-09 global financial crisis. This can be partially attributed to the strength of Australia’s banking system; all four of Australia’s major banks rank in the top 20 of the world’s safest banks, each with a AA rating. Australia’s financial system also benefited from its global best practice regulatory regime.
Strength in investment funds
Underpinning much of Australia’s financial services strength is the growth of its investment funds sector. Australia has one of the largest pools of consolidated assets under management globally, valued at about A$1.8 trillion (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Cat. No. 5655.0, Managed Funds, Australia, December 2011).
The assets of Australia’s investment funds industry is rated as the world’s fourth biggest asset pool and the largest in Asia. Its mandated retirement savings scheme saw total superannuation assets reach A$1.34 trillion at the end of June 2011.
A financial services hub
International businesses recognise Australia’s attractiveness as a financial services hub within the Asia-Pacific region. This is reinforced by a number of Government initiatives which include its commitment to the implementation of an investment manager regime and other measures to provide taxation exemption or tax relief for foreign managers.
Australia also provides companies with platform from which to expand their operations internationally. Combined with its highly skilled and multilingual workforce, stable political system and competitive infrastructure costs, Australia presents an ideal location for financial services investors.
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Financial sector regulators
Australian Federal Government