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Finance and Insurance

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More About Finance and Insurance

The financial services industry in Australia is one of the most advanced and flexible in the world. Australians enjoy the fullest possible range of financial products from the third growing sector in the economy.

There are three main providers of financial services in Australia and these are: Banks, which are full-service financial institutions with an official banking license; registered financial corporations such as money market corporations and finance companies provide financial services; and, managed funds such as unit trusts and super funds.

There are four major banks in Australia: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac Banking Corporation. The Australian Government has a longstanding "four pillars" policy which prevents these four major banks from merging

Improved affordability is one of the benefits of the financial industry in Australia. Currently, many bank services are often provided free of charge. Most customers pay no account fees depending on the bank and account, as long as they are eligible for a basic account or have chosen a service that allows them to keep within transaction limits. Australian banks offer basic bank accounts to most Australians. Australian bank fees are not that high by world standards.

Banks provide basic products that would suit the needs of customers from a diverse range of groups that include small businesses, those with a mortgage, nonprofit organisations, social clubs, and private individuals.

On the other hand, the insurance market of Australia is also developed and sophisticated, with roughly three fairly distinct components: life insurance, general insurance, and health insurance. The insurance market is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) for general and life insurance, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for advice on insurance products, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) with respect to competition law.

The main insurance industry bodies include: Insurance Council of Australia, Financial Services Council, Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, Underwriting Agencies Council, and Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

Currently, the finance industry in Australia employs approximately 345,000 people. It is one of the most dynamic industries to date and accounts for approximately 8% of the Gross Domestic Product, or almost $52 billion. As a global financial centre, the Australian financial market holds an important position in global trading with its stable economy and liquid markets. The Australian dollar is also the sixth most traded in the world.



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