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Countdown to potential financial sector reforms

David Murray has revealed that he will soon provide an update about the Financial System Inquiry.

Mr Murray, who is chairing the federal inquiry, will share details during a keynote address to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia on December 1.

This will be Mr Murray’s first speech about the inquiry since July 15, when the interim report was released.

Mr Murray told the National Press Club that day that while major financial providers believe the system is competitive but over-regulated, smaller players feel it places them at a disadvantage.

The Financial System Inquiry’s final report is due to be provided to the Treasurer sometime in November.

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In the mortgage space, issues have been raised about the systemic risk of housing, bank capital, vertical integration in mortgage broking and, as a result, the role of broker commissions.

EY announced earlier this month that “the rules of the game may change” after the inquiry, which would make continued growth for banks an even greater challenge.

ANZ has also voiced its concern over the “uncertainty” of regulation and the outcome of the Financial System Inquiry.

Deborah Ralston, executive director of the Australian Centre for Financial Studies, said she was unaware of any other inquiry that had offered such wide-ranging opportunity for input.

“With this inquiry they have listened very fully and very widely across the sector,” Ms Ralston said.

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