The Financial Services Council will embark on a mission to increase Australia’s investment management exports to Hong Kong levels, off the back of research from Deloitte forecasting a $4.2 billion GDP boost.
Addressing the opening day of the FSC annual conference in Cairns yesterday, FSC chair and Schroder Investment Management CEO Greg Cooper said the time for introspective focus on domestic regulation such as FOFA and MySuper has passed, arguing it is time for the industry to truly go global.
“Australia is already a financial service centre and can build on its strengths to have a significant role in the Asia region,” Mr Cooper said. “[The FSC] will now lead the internationalisation of Australia’s financial services industry through a coordinated approach to financial services trade.”
Mr Cooper reflected on research conducted by Deloitte on behalf of the FSC, which laid out the national economic benefits of significantly escalating the exportability of Australian asset management and other financial services, consistent with the “industry’s competitive advantage”.
The research suggests that if Australian funds management exports were raised over the next decade to levels equivalent to those of the Hong Kong industry, Australian GDP would increase by $4.2 billion by 2030, with an additional 1,000 jobs created.
In addition, Mr Cooper projected a number of federal and state tax revenue benefits, through both the corporate and payroll tax paid by funds management businesses to state and territory governments and the income tax paid by employees in newly-created jobs to the federal government.
“Growth in Australia’s funds management exports to the levels experienced in Hong Kong would lead to Commonwealth tax receipts steadily rising to be $1.2 billion above the baseline in 2029/2030,” Mr Cooper said. “State payroll taxes would also increase by $61 million above the baseline in 2029/2030.”
At the same time, Mr Cooper pledged the FSC would continue lobbying the government to further reduce barriers to trade in order to facilitate a legislative and economic environment in which the export of financial services was increasingly viable.
“Over the coming five years, the FSC will lead the industry’s push for deeper and broader engagement with Asia through a coordinated trade and export agenda,” he said.
The FSC chair also took the opportunity to pay tribute to outgoing FSC chief executive John Brogden, who he said had steered the lobby group and financial services industry through “unprecedented” media and political scrutiny during the five years of his term.